Which was where she met Harry Thaw, heir to a 40 million dollar fortune in Pittsburgh.
Or rather, she met someone named “Mr. Munroe.” Harry introduced himself to Evelyn incognito, and sent her a lot of anonymous gifts. That was because he wanted her to love himself. That is how you make people love you for yourself. You make up a fake name and send a lot of gifts.
This would have been more effective if Evelyn had any idea who the Thaws were. She was 17. She wasn’t a debutante. She was from a tiny town in Pennsylvania. She had no idea who was famous and who wasn’t outside of the New York society that Stanford White introduced her to.
And Stanford White really didn’t like Harry Thaw. Harry was constantly ranting about how Stanford had him barred from all the best clubs in New York, though the extent to which this was just Harry’s paranoia at work is impossible to determine. I mean, not at the Union League Club, though. He was barred from the Union League Club because he rode a horse into its lobby. It is possible that Stanford asked that he not be admitted to other clubs, but that one, he just wrecked their lobby.
So when Harry finally exclaimed “I am not Mr. Munroe, I am Henry Thaw, of Pittsburgh!” which he meant to be a grand reveal, Evelyn was kind of like “whatever.” She later wrote, “A disguised Napoleon revealing himself to a near-sighted veteran on Elba could not have made the revelation with greater aplomb.”
Harry took that as proof that she loved him for himself alone.
At that point, Evelyn was dating a pretty nifty polo player named James Montgomery Waterbury (he was a member of the “big four” polo team at the time, and he was one of the big four. It would have been like Marilyn Monroe and Joe Dimaggio or Gisele Bundchen and Tom Brady. Oh my God, she should have married James Montgomery Waterbury.)
But Harry offered her and her mother a trip to Europe, so, Evelyn decided to go on that.
Why? I don’t know why. She had just had her appendix out and she was promised it would be a good way to recuperate. Frankly, I wonder if she might have gone because she knew how much Stanford disliked Harry.
But before we talk about the trip, let’s talk a little bit more about Harry Thaw of Pittsburgh.