The quintessential Grey Gardens book! This fun astrological book was originally published in the 1960’s (and a cool limited hardback edition signed by Zolar was even issued), and offers readers the chance to examine horoscopes and gather insight into personalities and behaviors. Includes lucky days and numbers, and outlooks for romance, health, and finances. Perfect for that Libra Man in your life (but you’ll have to look to eBay for the green-cover version that appears in the documentary; the cover has been changed several times over the years).
FUN FACT: Zolar may not make it into the new HBO movie…apparently copyright clearance was difficult to obtain.
Forty Years of Gardening
Anna Gilman Hill
This rare book was published in 1938 by Anna Gilman Hill, the second owner of Grey Gardens . Hill was a dedicated horticulturist and celebrated garden writer, and is responsible for installing the concrete walls in the garden to help temper the fierce wind and sea spray. The book is a fascinating look into the process of creating the magnificent gardens that inspired the name, ” Grey Gardens .” There are also several archival photos with views of the garden from inside and outside the home. Quite a treat if you are able to find a copy today!
This hard to find, and long out-of-print book was banned from Grey Gardens! Lois Wright tried to smuggle a copy into the home and the Edies would not have it grace the doorstep. The book was written by George Caldwell, former owner of the Bookhampton book store in East Hampton. The book tells the story of a gentleman that plans to buy a home in East Hampton. He is offered a crumbling mansion near an eighteenth-century windmill. He is shocked to discover that the house is inhabited by two female recluses, mother and daughter…once rich but now threatened with eviction. The man falls under the women’s spell and a multitude of unexplainable acts overcome him.
FUN FACT: This book was issued in both the United States and the United Kingdom. The UK edition features the most Grey Gardens-inspired cover (as shown here), complete with a monster cat peering from behind the house.
Around the World
M.S. Kungsholm Swedish American Line
Though not really a “book,” this 1971 20-page brochure for an around the world cruise appears in the documentary. Called “the cruise of a lifetime,” the 94-day trip took passengers on an adventure over 31,000 miles across the ocean on the M.S. Kungsholm ship. Edie thoughtfully tacks the pamphlet to her bedroom wall; she likes the color of the booklet, but you know she is dreaming of escaping Grey Gardens, and probably fantasized of what it might have been like to travel the world.
FUN FACT: This brochure inspired one of the most touching songs in Grey Gardens: The Musical, called “Around the World.”
Davis, the first cousin of Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy Onassis, uncovers the family secrets that contributed to the evolution of the Bouvier family. Published in 1969, he debunks many of the aristocratic origins of the famous family tree. It is a fascinating read and includes lots of information on the Beales, Bouviers, and Kennedys.
FUN FACT: Davis may be working on a book exclusively about the Beales.
The ultimate Grey Gardens insider, Wright kept a daily journal of the time she lived at the home. The ups and downs of the Beale’s world from September 1975 to February 1977 is thoughtfully recorded and it even includes a few rare photos. Every fan of Grey Gardens should have this book in their collection.FUN FACT: The book is available both in the United States and in the United Kingdom.
This unique book contains never-before-seen photographs of Edie Beale and Grey Gardens, exclusive interviews, obscure newspaper clippings, reproductions of personal letters written to Walter Newkirk from Little Edie over their many years of friendship (along with the charming cards she created by hand), and art inspired by Grey Gardens. There are also essays about Edie by photojournalist/paparazzo Ron Galella, former literary agent Pat Loud, and the artist Maria Manhattan. I really enjoyed this very personal look at Edie, and highly recommend it to anyone interested in Grey Gardens.
FUN FACT: Newkirk also released a companion CD to this book called “Little Edie Live! A Visit To Grey Gardens.” The CD features a recording of the actual interview that Newkirk conducted at Grey Gardens with Little Edie for the Rutgers Targum newspaper in 1976.
Edith Bouvier Beale of Grey Gardens: A Life in Pictures unveils how the earlier life and times of Little Edie Beale was so filled with the magic and wonder of the gilded life of pre-crash and pre-war New York and East Hampton society. Beautifully reproduced in large format, this volume contains over 150 newly-uncovered family photographs and writings, that have been lying hidden in family archives for the past fifty years. It is the first ever family-sponsored book on Little Edie and showcases her poignant poetry and personal diaries. From Verlhac, the same publisher that brought you Jackie: A Life in Pictures.
FUN FACT: The first 2,000 copies are numbered editions.
A book of photographs and in-depth profiles of Andy Warhol’s friends in the world of music, film, society, sports, fashion, and politics. Features 360 photos with a unique view of celebrity life through the lens of Warhol. Features four pages on the Edies, with a very colorful interview that is unlike anything you have ever read about the ladies. A black and white photo of Little Edie is included.
FUN FACT: The article includes an account of Big Edie’s funeral.
A collection of in-depth interviews with some of the 20th century’s most brilliant cultural icons. During the ’80s and ’90s McKenna wrote art, film and music criticism, and profiled directors, musicians and visual artists for a variety of publications including Artforum, Playboy, Rolling Stone, The Los Angeles Times and New York Rocker. The book includes a fascinating interview with Little Edie conducted in her later years. You will roar at some of the things she says!
A Privileged Life is the first book of its kind to unveil the rarefied WASP way of life, one that many emulate though few truly understand. From the popular pink-and-green color combination of preppy chic to iconic photographs of the style makers who embody the WASP spirit, this book celebra tes the timeless fascination with America’s leisure class. Little Edie is included in the “Icons” chapter, and it features a photo of her outside the Paris Theatre looking at the Grey Gardens poster.
The first full-length treatment of the career of David and Albert Maysles, Vogels offers a critical assessment of the complete Maysles film catalog. Looking at the films as both shapers and reflections of American culture, he points out that the works offer insights into a wide range of contemporary topics including materialism, celebrity, modern art, and the American family. In addition to describing the changes in technology that made direct cinema possible, Vogels provides careful, scene-by-scene analyses that allow for a consideration of the Maysles brothers’ films as films, a tactic not frequently employed in nonfiction film studies.
FUN FACT: The essay on Grey Gardens is also included in the booklet that accompanies the UK edition of the Grey Gardens DVD.
The first authorized comprehensive monograph on the pioneer filmmaking team that set the standards of contemporary documentary filmmaking. The recent discovery of a cache of original film negatives, plus hours of outtake film, numerous stills, production notes and personal and business letters is the occasion for this retrospective publication and exhibition. Using the latest digital technology to scan and print from original footage, images from both major and lesser-known films are reproduced, alongside significant writings by Albert and others (many published for the first time).
FUN FACT: Although Little Edie is featured on the cover of this book, it chronicles other Maysles works in addition to Grey Gardens.
Not about Grey Gardens or the Beales, but this story mirrors the plight of the Edies in many ways. Homer and Langley Collyer moved into their handsome brownstone in white, upper-class Harlem in 1909. By 1947, however, when the fire department had to carry Homer’s body out of the house he hadn’t left in twenty years, the neighborhood had degentrified, and their house was a fortress of junk: in an attempt to preserve the past, Homer and Langley held on to everything they touched. Check it out!
This 1980 book is long out of print, but you can still find used copies on eBay and Amazon.There is an entire chapter devoted to the “ Grey Gardens ” documentary, with behind-the-scenes information you have never seen anywhere else. The chapter revolves around an in-depth interview with Ellen Hovde, co-director and co-editor of the documentary. It is absolutely fascinating and is, without a doubt, one of the best articles I have ever read on Grey Gardens .
Grey Gardens: A Scrapbook
Sara Maysles and Rebekah Maysles
This eclectic volume offers a myriad of collaged illustrations, photographs, film stills, production notes and other archival materials alongside transcripts of the Beale’s own stories and conversations, edited from unreleased “ Grey Gardens ” sound recordings. It also reproduces unpublished photographs by Albert Maysles and David Maysles; with an introduction by Albert Maysles, drawings and illustrations by Albert’s daughter, Rebekah Maysles, and an appendix with the full transcripts of both “ Grey Gardens ” and 2006’s “The Beales of Grey Gardens.”
FUN FACT: The book includes an audio CD of sound recordings of the Beales.
A fun little Victorian romance novel with a very “Grey Gardens” appropriate title. Did this book inspire Little Edie?
Gloria: A Girl and Her Dad (1923)
A fan recently reported that this book was seen on a bedside table at Grey Gardens. This juvenile fiction book was popular during the Great Depression. The copy seen at the house has whimsical drawings and sketches by Little Edie inside it.
Letters of Little Edie Beale: Grey Gardens and Beyond
The book has approximately 100 transcripts of the most engaging and entertaining cards and letters written by Edie Beale to her friend Walter Newkirk from 1977-1987 and from 2000 until a few months before her death in 2002. She discusses politics, 9/11, Cher, Elian Gonzalez,the Grey Gardens documentary and musical, Jackie Kennedy Onassis and Lee Radziwill, politics, and more.
There’s No Place Like Home: Confessions of an Interior Designer
Carleton Varney, one of the best known decorators in America, writes his impressions of the famous and the infamous, and the homes they live in. Varney interviews Little Edie following her 1978 cabaret performance at Reno Sweeney, a New York nightclub. He wrote a newspaper column about how her life had changed after the Maysles documentary, her mother’s death, and the possibility of an entertainment career.
From the sustainable and native to the over-the-top and avant garde, these gardens frame or transform houses-both modern and traditional-and extend the living space outdoors. Hamptons Gardens makes stops at the estates of Southampton, the cliffs of Montauk, East Hampton’s Georgica Pond, and even the famed Grey Gardens.
In the Spirit of the Hamptons
This beautifully illustrated book by Kelly Killoren Bensimon sends the reader on a personal tour of the many hamlets that make up the Hamptons—each with its own charm—from iconic restaurants such as Southampton’s Sant’Ambroeus or the renowned Parrish Art Museum in Water Mill or the ultra high-end shopping scene in East Hampton.
Whether for solitude or community, creative types have found refuge from the hustle and bustle of Manhattan on the southeastern end of Long Island for over a century, and “Hamptons Bohemia” is a charming coffee table book that explores the lives of literary and visual artists who made a home on the East End. With beautiful photographs and entertaining text, this selection is not to be missed.