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Shell Bluff, a renovated mansion somewhere south of Savannah, had been the home of the Warren family since 1898. St. Julien Warren, a timber merchant, and his new wife Susan Winthrop, daughter of the Boston shipping Winthrops, intended it to become the ancestral home of a Warren dynasty. Their son, Winthrop Warren, near manhood, handsome and accomplished, and their four daughters, destined to become southern beauties, seemed a secure underpinning for the future. But the House of Warren was not to be. St. Julien became a victim of the 1918 influenza plague. Then, in 1920, the sudden and inexplicable death of his widow Susan put his orphaned children in the care of their aunt, Claudia. The mischief had begun.

The Warren fortune was substantial and the terms of its inheritance was unusual; the assets could only be passed to the oldest male child of one of the children. Perhaps Aunt Claudia was tempted to advance her own cause in the matter. Perhaps others, with real or perceived interests, were drawn into the ensuing turmoil: a tumult of arson, embezzlement and seduction.

In the end, the legal machinery of the time was put to an exacting test. It might have done better. Or perhaps, in retrospect, it could have done worse.
Published: iUniverseBooks on
ISBN: 9781469758886
List price: $3.99
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