Antonietta was written "for the fun of it," as Hersey says in his brief note at the beginning of the book. He begged forgiveness in advance from musicians and musicologists for his intrusion into their territory. However, most of the reviewers of the book were music critics, and they did not indulge him.
These readers found one of their unusual targets in the last section of the book. "Act Five" presents Spenser Ham, a tone deaf entrepreneur and insider trader who buys Antonietta at a Sotheby auction. Money, not music, is the chief passion of his life.
Some critics accused Hersey of preaching against the entrepreneurs of the era because making money was their only interest. Actually, Spenser Ham was very much like the other billionaires of the period who had created a new Gilded Age in American history. Ham used Antonietta to add elegance to his home as...
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Antonietta Short Guide
John Hersey Biographies (6)
7,566 words, approx. 26 pages
Biography EssayIn 1950 John Hersey was considered one of the most promising young writers in the nation. His first novel, A Bell for Adano (1944), had won a Pulitzer Prize in 1945, while his journalis...
7,071 words, approx. 24 pages
"I feel, often, as if I am making my life sketches not with a fine pen or a sharp pencil but with a thickish piece of charcoal," journalist and novelist John Hersey wrote in the introduction to Life S...
6,169 words, approx. 21 pages
In 1950, John Hersey was considered one of the nation's most promising young writers. His first novel, A Bell for Adano (1944), had won a Pulitzer Prize in 1945, while his journalistic masterpiece of...
7,359 words, approx. 25 pages
John Hersey, the author of more than a dozen novels as well as many sketches, commentaries, articles, and essays, has a well-earned reputation as one of America's most important novelists of the post-...
10,326 words, approx. 35 pages
John Hersey earned early recognition, first as a reporter and then as a novelist. His dispatches from Guadalcanal and Sicily for the Henry Luce magazines Time and Life made him one of the best-known c...
2,474 words, approx. 9 pages
In 1950 John Hersey's second novel, The Wall, established him as a fiction writer of some importance. Though his first novel, A Bell for Adano (1944), and a nonfiction account of atomic-bomb victims,...