Page 41 - The Hunt - Summer 2019
P. 41

                 (From far left)
The cover of the new book; Helen Hope Montgomery Scott with two younger siblings; Robert Montgomery Scott on the steps of the Philadelphia Museum of Art.
wild and unconventional. Hope and Edgar regularly went skinny-dipping
in Ardrossan’s “cold pool,” even when they were grandparents. Hope loved her husband completely, but she did have protracted flirtations with other men— and Edgar gave as good as he got. It seems the couple purposefully incited jealousy in one another. “The stories piqued their attraction to one another,” says Janny. “I think they were jazzed by it.”
They were also jazzed by their friendship with Philip Barry, who wrote
The Philadelphia Story. But Janny reveals what the family has always known:
Hope was not the model for Katharine Hepburn’s character. That was Tracy Lord, the daughter of a wealthy family and a graduate of Bryn Mawr College. Hope didn’t mind the misperception.
“In a lot of ways, I’m a fan of my grandmother,” says Janny. “I hope readers will find a more complex human than they’d grappled with before. People are complicated and multi-shaded, not the narrow caricatures we see in the media.”
When she wrote about her father, Janny wanted only the truth. She found it in
his diaries. In volume after volume, she read about his ambivalence over wealth and privilege—that those 800 acres
tied him to a life that he didn’t want. Discontentment with his marriage and law career, coupled with an apparent genetic disposition to alcoholism and depression rendered RMS an unhappy man who was fully aware of his demons and often felt unequipped to battle them. “To me, it
was one of the biggest revelations of his
continued on page 60
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