This political year is high time to meet Alice Roosevelt Longworth, the “other Washington Monument.” Teddy Roosevelt said of his firstborn: “I can either run the country or I can control Alice, but I cannot possibly do both.”
When the twentieth century was infantile, Theodore Roosevelt’s irrepressible daughter was a lovely Gibson-girl debutante, America’s Princess Alice, married in her father’s White House. She traveled, campaigned, smoked and played poker with her father’s cronies. A cousin of Franklin Delano—and a closer cousin of Eleanor—Roosevelt, Alice survived the betrayals many women married to political men faced during her long era, took on rearing her orphaned 11-year-old granddaughter at age 73, and lived to be 96.
She died at the brink of the Reagan White House, remaining to the bittersweet end America’s tart-tongued girl-turned-grande dame, a Washington Institution as venerable, varied and surprising as the Smithsonian itself.
In later years she had an embroidered sofa pillow that read: “If you haven’t got anything good to say about anybody, come sit next to me.” And she’s surfaced in a new bestselling political novel:
“Watergate also [features] Alice Longworth, the eldest child of Theodore Roosevelt and the snarky grand dame of Washington at the time of the scandal. She is a scene-gnawing hoot, and the moment between her and Nixon just after his resignation speech is one of the novel’s most affecting.”—Fort Worth Star-Telegram review of Thomas Mallon’s 2012 novel, Watergate.
EXTRA! Political thriller novel excerpt from Black Oil,Red Blood, is included!
Author Diane Castle is the pseudonym of a Texas attorney whose practice experience includes assisting plaintiffs with wrongful death and personal injury cases against Big Oil giants such as ExxonMobil, ChevronTexaco, BP, and ConocoPhillips. Prior to her career as an attorney, Ms. Castle was Carole Nelson Douglas’s personal assistant and a staff writer for the Dallas Morning News. Diane has been honored with two awards for humor and satire and one award for literary criticism. Her first novel, Black Oil, Red Blood, was released in February 2012. A free sample is included at the end of this short story.