Book Report


Winter 2014-2015

1. What is your name?

Bettie Bearden Pardee.

2. What is the title of your new book?

Living Newport: Houses, People, Style.

3. When was the book published and by whom?

Glitterati Incorporated, 2014.

4. What other books have you authored?

Private Newport: At Home and in the Garden (Bulfinch, 2004).

5. What section should this new book be shelved under?


6. What is the book about? What is its plot, focus, or subject?

Newport, Rhode Island is celebrated for its stunning seascapes, famous mansions, Jazz Festival, annual Flower Show, and world-class sailing events. From presidents to philanthropists, it is also known for the stylish residents who have summered and socialized here.

How does private Newport entertain, decorate, garden, socialize, dress? In elegant settings worthy of Masterpiece Theatre—the social pastimes (yachting party on an 82-foot Trumpy), rituals (Coaching Weekend), and well-earned traditions (sumptuous weddings and parties) play out in lush images through the lens of the four seasons. Amusing tales and lively personal anecdotes capture the fresh twist to this distinctive lifestyle.

Newport’s exceptional old-world architecture and cultured charm are the centerpieces of the 17 remarkable properties beautifully portrayed in Living Newport: Houses, People, Style.

7. How did this book come about?

My first book, Private Newport: At Home and in the Garden, was prompted by a house-building project and the realization that there was no reference material on the private homes of Newport (as opposed to the grand mansion holdings of the Preservation Society). Now, ten years later, I continue in that same spirit of documenting the private side of our town, inspired by those who have the means and opportunities to live anywhere in the world, but choose Newport. It is the newcomers, as well as the old guard, who are continuing Newport’s intriguing ability to continually evolve. Not a small consideration, as this ‘City by the Sea’ celebrates its 375th anniversary.

8. What was the hardest thing for you about writing/creating this book?

Creating a beautiful ‘tapestry’ of houses, tastemakers, lifestyle, and social pastimes, while also weaving in the people (not included in my first book) who live these stories to achieve an energy that makes turning the pages a treat.

9. What was the easiest thing for you about writing/creating this book?

I’ve written/edited four other books, and produced the Bon Appétit feature, “Entertaining with Style,” for eleven years. One develops a rhythm which tracks through all the stages of production–developing the initial concept, writing each chapter’s script, identifying just the right photographers, art directing and styling the shoots, film selection and overseeing layout, and final signoff on the book’s design.

10. Who are some of the authors (or artists) you admire that have inspired you?

Stacy Shiff (Cleopatra, A Life), Andrea Wulf (Founding Gardeners), and Carolyn Roehm (Flowers).

11. If it were entirely up to you, what would the film adaptation of your book look like?

A riff on High Society, and of the same period, directed by Woody Allen, and titled, ALL THAT GLITTERS. Jennifer Lawrence would have the lead, Hugh Grant would be the black sheep English cousin, and Larry Ellison (who has a home in Newport) would have a cameo, aboard one of the old 12-meter America’s Cup boats. Of course, the setting would be Newport!

12. What are you working on now?

A re-issue of my first two entertaining books, Pardee Guide to Great Entertaining and Pardee Guide to Great Weekend Entertaining.

Bettie Bearden Pardee is the author of Private Newport, At Home and in the Garden. An accomplished hostess and active community leader, her home, Parterre, provides the ideal setting for carrying on Newport”s tradition of gracious living. Chair of many events that are staples of the social season, including the Newport Flower Show, she is additionally the author of two books on entertaining. A former contributing editor to Bon Appetit, where she produced “Entertaining with Style,” Pardee was also host and creative producer of the thirteen-part PBS series The Presidential Palate: Entertaining at the White House.



Questions by PMc Magazine

Photography Courtesy of Glitterati Incorporated

Design by Francesca Rimi


Bettie Bearden Pardee Author Photo: © Alexander Nesbitt, Photography Courtesy of Glitterati Incorporated

Cover : © Kenneth Lindh, Photography Courtesy of Glitterati Incorporated

From Living Newport: People, Houses, Style by Bettie Bearden Pardee © 2014, published by Glitterati Incorporated, Photography Courtesy of Glitterati Incorporated

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