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Midnight In The Garden Of Good And Evil By John Berendt

768 words - 4 pages

Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil by John Berendt

Savannah is the city of Southeast Georgia near the mouth of the Savannah River. James Ogelthorpe founded it in 1733, it is the oldest city in Georgia and has been a major port since the early 19th century (Soukhanov, p.1606). Savannah has been called that gently mannered city by the sea and indeed it is, with Spanish moss hanging from the huge oak trees and the shine of the moon reflecting off the pillars of Savannah’s grand mansions. Ones imagination can conjure up a simple setting where the clop of hooves on the cobblestone streets echo in the mind and sweat from the glass of a delicious madiera leaves a ring on the ...view middle of the document...

Jim Williams, the owner of a Savannah antiques store, was a self-made millionaire known for both his loving restorations of local houses and his grand parties. Williams never really felt the embrace of Savannah’s wealthy constituency. Although his bank account certainly qualified him for entry into their circle, he was nouveau riche, and hence, an outsider. Old money and aristocracy hold a lot of weight in the South. Williams answered their snobbery with “It’s the riche that counts” (Berendt, p.7). Williams lived in a mansion known as Mercer House, it was built in 1861 and stands at the west end of Monterey Square. Mercer House is the center stage for much of the book. It is also where his well-known Christmas parties were held and its study was the site of the shooting of Danny Hansford. While we’re on the subject, Danny Hansford was a part-time employee and houseguest of Williams. Hansford was a young man that had quite a reputation in Savannah for his violent temper and his sexual proclivity to service both men and women. Not to mention his abusive use of drugs and alcohol, which helps explain why he had been in and out of jail so many times.

Despite all the...

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