Aimée Crocker, Queen of Bohemia chronicles the life and times, adventures and the close circle of heiress Aimée Crocker, who boldly transcended class, culture and gender roles and made headlines from the 1880s to the 1940s. She was known for her cultural exploration of the Far East, for her extravagant parties in San Francisco, New York and Paris, and for her collections of husbands and lovers, adopted children, Buddhas, pearls, tattoos and snakes. While the American public was mesmerized by her (the Philadelphia Inquirer named her “The Most Fascinating Woman of Her Age”) high society, including members of her family, shunned her.
“Crocker’s life is a cabinet of human curiosities, a celebration of some of the most eccentric, extravagant and extraordinary personalities from the Civil War to World War II. Crocker mixed with royalty and rabble. Though she had connections to the highest levels of society, Crocker’s true milieu was to be found in her network of similarly free agents from all walks of life. Her coterie was a pantheon of unique and fearless spirits. Rare blooms. Some are legends even today (Oscar Wilde, the Barrymores, Irving Berlin, George M. Cohan, Enrico Caruso, Aleister Crowley, Rudolph Valentino, Auguste Rodin, Henri Matisse, Isadora Duncan, Thomas Edison, and, of course, Charles Crocker) and others were like her destined to face an ill-deserved obscurity, but who emerge from the shadows of history as unsung influences on our lives. Aimée Crocker was a paragon of vivid individuality who lived for intrigue and outrage, who possessed an irresistible charm of manner, and who elevated the craft of selfhood to an art. She carefully prepared and constructed her persona to be a muse and an eccentricity. Her demeanor and conversation aimed at irresponsible brilliance and a lack of reticence. Her constant efforts at inventing new adventures and entertainments showcased the variety of her immense learning, the confidence of her taste, the insolence of her character and extent of her fortune. As the quintessential Bohemian muse, it wasn’t what she left behind, but how she lived that was her real masterpiece.”
Paperback: 416 pages
Publisher: Frugoli and Taylor; second edition (December 1, 2017)