Huguette Clark: Mystery and Obsession in New Book
The recently deceased Huguette Clark, the heir to a copper fortune continues to stir curiousity as a look into her life and obsession with dolls becomes available in the upcoming book “Huguette Clark: The Mysterious Life of Huguette Clark and the Spending of the Great American Fortune” by NBC News investigative reporter Bill Dedman and Paul Clark Newell, Jr. Newell is a cousin of Huguette Clark.
The book will focus on Ms. Clark’s life as a wealthy hermit, and a lot on her million-dollar obsession: her “little people”. Excerpts from the fascinating book will run in a three-part series on NBC.com. The excerpts tell of a very private, obsessive woman, who would step rarely outside her doors, but would walk down the street for a New York fashion show so that she could see the new fashions from Paris, in order to make tiny versions of them for her dolls.
She would also go to great lengths from inside her home to be certain that the extravagant doll houses she designed would be built exactly to her measurements, so that her “little people” wouldn’t “bang their heads”. One tale in the book focuses on a an immigrant from Austria-Hungary, Rudolph Jaklitsch who would receive her dollhouses once they arrived and make modifications to them.
His daughter regales the authors with tales of phone calls, sometimes many a day, where Huguette would render details and ideas that would come to her. He found her “charmingly frustrating” according to the book. He said it would be much easier to understand what she wanted if she would meet with him in person, but she would only speak to him on the phone or through her door.
At Christmas time, the Jaklitsch family would be one of the lucky recipients of Ms. Clark’s “small gifts”, checks for $20,000 that grew to $40,000 over the years. When Rudolph died, they continued to come, addressed to his wife, Anna, who made the curtains for her dollhouses. When Anna died, they came addressed to their children.
The excerpts from the book will be posted in a three-part series on NBCNews.com over the next few days, check them out!
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