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The Red Leather Diary: Reclaiming a Life Through the Pages of a Lost Journal
“A New York Times” journalist discovers a discarded old diary - a long-lost treasure that introduces her to an extraordinary woman and a glamourous, forgotten time. For decades it languished in an unclaimed trunk in the basement of a prewar building on Manhattan's Upper West Side, until it was tossed in a dumpster and recovered by journalist Lily Koppel. As she opened the diary's worn leather-bound cover, Koppel had no idea that she was about to embark on a wondrous journey back in time, to a lost New York in which women of privilege met for tea at Schrafft's, danced at the Hotel Pennsylvania, and toasted the night at El Morocco.Nor did she expect to be captivated by a headstrong and beautiful young woman who loved to play the piano, paint portraits and write poetry. Compelled by the hopes and dreams, drama and heartbreak captured in the diary's pages, Koppel set out to find it's original owner, the words, 'This book belongs to Florence Wolfson' the only clue. One day, a chance call by a private investigator leads Koppel to Wolfson, now 90 years old, living in Connecticut with her husband of 67 years.Wolfson is mesmerized by how well the diary had been preserved and the life she had almost forgotten filled with art, theater, salons and many lovers (chief among them Eva Le Gallienne and the son of an Italian count, Filippo Canaletti Gaudenti Da Sirola).
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