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Ã¢â‚¬Å“ That fall, Michaely and Liliane were planning a buying spree in Europe. Three weeks before the trip, the Kaufmanns spent the weekend at Fallingwater. On Sept. 7, 1952, Liliane failed to come down to dinner. Kaufmann, worried that she was not answering repeated knocks at her door, ordered the servants to force it open. He found Liliane on the bed, having overdosed on sleeping pills.
''He put her in the car,'' Waggoner says, ''and instead of taking her to a local hospital, because he didn't trust the local doctors, they drove her to Pittsburgh,'' to Mercy Hospital, two and half hours away. Edgar's suspicions may have cost Liliane her life.
What happened, in fact, is not entirely clear. Both Kaufmanns were drinkers, and Kaufmann, suffering from severe back pain caused by several bad falls from his horse, had a large stock of painkillers. Edgar Jr. told friends that his mother had killed herself.
''It was a very troubling thing for him,'' Waggoner says, ''because he and his mother were very close.'' As it turns out, Edgar Jr. may have been wrong about the suicide. A coroner ruled the death accidental. Still, the suicide rumor persists. Even Wright seemed to believe this. In a Sept. 18, 1952, letter, he wrote to Edgar Jr.: ''Your mother needs no sympathy. She shines brighter now that she no longer suffers.'' Ã¢â‚¬Å“
Good to know how the Kaufmanns referred to the location of Fallingwater: Mill Run, Fayette Co, Penna.
Wonder what 871.0 refers to. "Other significant conditions" ? See addition (?) of numerals, left margin.
No, I don't think they need to check everything; they just need to include notes as to where they got their information. If Gill listed where he got this "Lincoln" business, we wouldn't be in our current predicament. Even if it was just a note that said it was 'a family rumor related to him by X'. It's infuriating that some scholars don't do it more as it really isn't difficult.Does every biographer have to check every fact, find every legal document for every birth, marriage, commission, and death?
The whole point of publishing is that reliable information be made available to whoever needs it. Journalism is the backbone of a culture; books are
written to memorialize facts. Of what use is any of it if not reliable ?
We've repeatedly remarked here on the problem of misinformation issuing from well-meaning docents at Wright properties. Is the visitor meant to go
home and "look it up" for himself ? Once a claim is out there, it tends to become entrenched. Don't let it happen !
The material included in a published paper or longer-form work is footnoted so that the writer's sources are available to the reader. But the facts put
forward are expected to be reliable. Yes, the author is expected to check every fact -- either personally, or by means of hired researchers -- before
committing it to paper.
We are beset with "fake news." Let's not accept that as the new norm . . .
That doesn't seem to be happening. Reviewers don't seem to check, and a large number of readers believe most anything they read in print or online. The Lincoln middle name phenomenon may be a case of this; the Liliane Kaufmann specific cause of death most certainly is....because reviewers and readers will do the checking if the biographer doesn't.
In the case of Mrs. Kaufmann, we have about as much proof as we are going to get short of opening a tomb in Western Pennsylvania and examining the deceased's remains for evidence of trauma. Gill stated something that dramatically differed from previous accounts. Did Gill read any previously published material written about the Kaufmanns, in particular the circumstances of Liliane's death? It was verifiable by looking up the death certificate, as it is a public document. No one reviewing Gill's writings did that. Either Gill made up his account, or he heard it and repeated it without checking. If he heard it as a "hidden secret", he gave no indication that it differed from previous accounts, nor did he cite his source for this detail.
I suppose this is nothing new. I'm learning to believe that what is written as history may not always be accurate. It is most troubling however to witness accurate accounts being pushed aside by false ones that are perceived to be more "juicy" to the reader, or that serve some personal purpose for the writer.
method applied to any and every subject that arises. From the earliest days of our own nation, the government actively supported and aided the journalistic
http://www.nytimes.com/2010/01/28/busin ... bsidy.html