Our November Speaker: Sylvia Jukes Morris

Sylvia Jukes Morris The Women’s Forum of Litchfield welcomes author Sylvia Jukes Morris and writer Joseph Montebello in a conversation at the Litchfield Community Center at 421 Bantam Road in Litchfield on Thursday, November 3, beginning at 2:30pm.

Sylvia Jukes Morris was born and educated in England, where she taught English literature before emigrating to America. She has not only written the two-volume life of Clare Boothe Luce, but also “Edith Kermit Roosevelt: Portrait of a First Lady.” She lives in New York City and Kent, Connecticut, with her husband, the writer Edmund Morris.

The beautiful, smart, ambitious and often tormented Clare Boothe Luce (1903-1987) chose Sylvia Jukes Morris to be her biographer, giving her copious interviews and unprecedented access to her letters, diaries, unpublished writings, scrapbooks, and photographs. “Price of Fame: The Honorable Clare Boothe Luce” is Morris’s critically acclaimed follow-up to “Rage for Fame: The Ascent of Clare Boothe Luce,” completing the story of an exceptionally brilliant polymath.

The book chronicles Luce’s progress from the early months of World War II, when, as a Congresswoman and only female member of the House Military Affairs Committee, she toured the Western Front, captivating generals and GIs. She even visited Buchenwald and other concentration camps within days of their liberation. After a shattering personal tragedy, she converted to Roman Catholicism, and became the first American woman to be appointed ambassador to a major foreign power. “La Luce,” as the Italians called her, was also a prolific journalist and magnetic public speaker, as well as a playwright, screenwriter, scuba diver, early experimenter in psychedelic drugs, and Grande Dame of the GOP in the Reagan era. Tempestuously married to Henry Luce, the powerful publisher of Time Inc., she endured his infidelities while pursuing her own, and remained a practiced vamp well into old age.

Fran Keilty, owner of The Hickory Stick, will be offering the book for sale following the presentation. The event will be open to non-Forum members with a $10 fee at the door, which includes a High Tea reception. The contacts for more information are 860-605-7207 and womensforumoflitchfield.org.

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