Books: Yaddo and Substance

One summer day in 1899, a private banker named Spencer Trask and his wife Katrina were walking through the expensive wildwood of their big country estate, Yaddo, at Saratoga Springs, N. Y. Suddenly Katrina stopped, listened, raised her hands "as if in appeal to that Something which was too vast for me to define." Few moments later she said with dreamy excitement: "Here will be a perpetual series of house parties—of literary men, literary women, and other artists. . . . At Yaddo they will find the Sacred Fire, and light their torches...

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