The story of Madeleine and Colonel John Jacob Astor is very much part of the story of Bar Harbor, Maine. The relatively poor Madeleine Force met Colonel Astor, the third richest man in the United States, in Bar Harbor in 1910. The vicious scandal after they're wedding caused the newlyweds to board the Titanic to return to America; the ensuing tragedy would claim the life of the colonel.
Madeleine Astor returned to Bar Harbor after the Titanic disaster, where all eyes were on her, and where she was triumphant in claiming the role of social leader. In 1916, she remarried in the center of Bar Harbor, and gave up everything Astor.
The story follows the 17 years of her second marriage, and then her scandalous third marriage. Madeleine, now in her 40s, married a penniless young boxer and her name erased from the Social Register after that. She died a lonely figure in her 40s.
This new book from historian Mac Smith documents Madeleine's life in Bar Harbor and the Astor presence on Bar Harbor through Colonel Astor's family and the Kane family--Astor cousins who were prominent there. It puts Madeleine Astor's story in the context of Bar Harbor's Golden Age. In telling Madeleine Astor's story, the story of a changing Bar Harbor is also revealed.
A Navy veteran of the first Gulf War and former reporter for The Bar Harbor Times,Mac Smith lives in Stockton Springs, Maine, in the village of Sandy Point. He is the author of several books of Maine history, including Mainers on the Titanic, Peyton Place Comes Home to Maine, Siege at the Statehouse, and Disaster at the Bar Harbor Ferry.