These days it is difficult to think of Frank Lloyd Wright as other than a star architect and commercial box-office hit. The Guggenheim museum broke some of its own attendance records with its recent exhibition, and an endless supply of books cater to the public's interest in pictures of his work and sensational accounts of his life. Two recent books that focus on a tragic moment in Wright's life are manifestations of this phenomenon.

In Loving Frank Nancy Horan, a journalist from Oak Park, Illinois, recounted the love affair between Mamah Borthwick Cheney and Frank Lloyd Wright that began around 1907 and culminated in her murder in 1914 when Julian Carlton, a servant working for Wright and Mamah, murdered her and six others at their home, Taliesin, in Spring Green, Wisconsin. Using the work of scholars, but altering historical fact and...

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