One of San Francisco's most vivid and unforgettable characters, Alma de Bretteville Spreckels rose from poverty to become one of the city's wealthiest women. Bred with a belief that she was destined for greatness, she became an important philanthropist and founded, with her husband, the California Palace of the Legion the Honor, often regarded as the city's most beautiful museum. However, Alma's humble beginnings, scandalous behavior, and bohemian friendships would alienate her from the cream of San Francisco society.Alma's outspoken manner and larger-than-life personality may have shocked the city's well heeled, but these were fruitful assets in the many projects that claimed her passions, whether it be founding various museums and developing the art and culture in San Francisco, or raising hundred of thousands of dollars for relief after both World Wars and during the Great Depression.This revised edition of Big Alma, originally published in 1990, includes one hundred images, many never before published, an updated family tree, and a new introduction by Martin Chapman, who divulges facts uncovered since the author Bernice Scharlach wrote her original account and explores how fact and controversy intermingle in the telling of Alma's story. Hardcover, 384 pages.
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