For decades, Janny Scott’s grandmother, Helen Hope Montgomery Scott, and her husband, Edgar, presided over Ardrossan, an 800-acre Villanova estate established by the Montgomery family in 1912, writes Melissa Jacobs for mainlinetoday.
It was the Main Line’s Downton Abbey, a 50-room manor laden with art and antiques, where glamorous people lived glamorous lives.
Ardrossan was again the attraction recently when Scott, a Pulitzer Prize-winning author, appeared at the Free Library of Philadelphia to talk about her new memoir, The Beneficiary: Fortune, Misfortune, and the Story of My Father .
Her version of the 100-year history of the Montgomery Scott family delves into the mixed legacies of Hope and Edgar Scott and their son, Robert Montgomery Scott (RMS)—Janny’s father. The book looks at the wealth and influence of the Montgomery Scotts, the grand opulence of Ardrossan and darker aspects, like RMS’s alcoholism and extramarital affairs.
When she wrote about her father, Janny wanted only the truth. In his diaries, she read about his ambivalence over wealth and privilege—that those 800 acres tied him to a life he didn’t want.
“I feel that I understand him better. I have deeper sympathy toward him than I did,” says Janny.
Read more about Janny Scott’s memoir here.