AUDREY: In the rags-to-riches story of a lifetime, Audrey goes from a poor tenement girl to Manhattan’s hottest model and muse. From the Bohemian Beaux Arts scene in New York, her fame spreads around the country until her gilded, naked body is on display in state capitals as far away as Wisconsin, Alabama, and even California. But at the height of her fame as the world’s first supermodel, a motion picture producer convinces her to do the unthinkable: disrobe in front of a movie camera. When Audrey becomes the first woman in America to appear nude in a film, the superstardom and scandals that follow will drive her to the brink of insanity and beyond.

 

KITTIE: America’s most successful stage mother, Kittie never takes her eyes off her goal. Pawning her silverware along with her wedding ring in 1894, she travels with her only daughter to New York, eventually landing Audrey several low paying Broadway roles as an extra. After their money runs out, they find themselves window shopping on Fifth Avenue without a penny in their pockets. But when a photographer passes by and takes notice of Audrey’s “classical proportions,” Kittie sees a new opportunity to secure her daughter’s everlasting fame and fortune. Soon Audrey is New York’s most in-demand model, and Kittie is learning a new way of life from the free-living Bohemian set.

 

THE BOHEMIAN ARTISTS: MacDougal Alley (also known as Donatello’s Alley) is a long line of stables which have been converted into artist’s studios. The street is crowded with libertine men and liberated women. “In Bohemia, men in corduroy, wearing no ties at all, take breakfast during five o'clock tea, and do not eat dinner until four in the morning. Some of the men dress like women and some of the women dress like men. It is their way of expressing individuality. Women can smoke, go hatless, and even say ‘damn’ in public.”

 

MS. WHITNEY: The daughter of Cornelius Vanderbilt, most people have a hard time understanding why Ms. Whitney feels the need to work at all. “These days Daddy's fortune grows at a rate of hundreds of thousands of dollars every day. But when I sell a piece for a thousand dollars, that's true joy.” Ms. Whitney installed a spiral staircase in her loft in Donatello’s Alley. At the top, she exhibits nude statues of males with enlarged phalluses. Ms. Whitney is the rare kind of woman who wears pants, and she is a lifelong lesbian. Greater New York does not know what to make of her, but among the artists, she is legendary for both her work and her wit.

 

LOGHEAD: An aviator who designed his Model G plane after being inspired by the Model T automobile, Loghead makes money by offering flights over the sea to any daredevil willing to go up in a plane. Meeting Audrey at the Panama-Pacific Expo, he falls in love with her immediately. After a few romantic flights together, Audrey thinks this might be the man she will marry. But a name like Loghead? Audrey politely suggests he change his name from Loghead to Lockheed. Years later, Loghead will follow her advice before founding his company Lockheed Martin. 

 

KINGLSEY: A Hollywood press agent, Kingsley believes he is one of the most powerful men on the West Coast, and he has published poetry to prove it. His free verse epic, “Lo, the Press Agent” describes him perfectly: “I hold a terrible power/And sometimes my own moderation/ Amazes me/ For I can abase as well as elevate/ Tear down as well as build up./ Remember, dear girl, there is only one hell,/ And that is to be disregarded.” When Audrey does not heed his warning, and when she spurns his sexual advances, he will use all his power to destroy her. He will not stop until she is locked away in the insane asylum.

 

DR. WILKINS: A man who makes his living providing “prescriptions” to movie stars, Dr. Wilkins’ many secrets come out after the death of his wife. The chief detective for the Burns Detective Agency, known as America’s Sherlock Holmes, is now personally investigating Dr. Wilkins for murder. Rumor has it that his love for movie star Audrey Munson provoked him to kill his wife. Audrey’s press agent fans the flames of the rumors to sell tickets, and Audrey is caught in the cross-hairs, not knowing who to trust. Could kind Dr. Wilkins really be a murderer? And could innocent Audrey really be the cause? As the sensational investigation and courtroom drama unfolds, Audrey will never be the same again.

MISS MANHATTAN

When America’s earliest supermodel becomes the first woman to appear nude in cinemas across the nation, the ensuing scandal shakes the foundations of her sanity. A true crime murder mystery ensues.

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All material ©2019 by Clint Miller