The Last Castle: The Epic Story of Love, Loss, and American Royalty in the Nation’s Largest Home by Denise Kiernan

Kiernan reads aloud as well as she writes, imparting to each detail perfect inflection and pacing. Her performance lends conversational intimacy to the Biltmore estate’s journey from depleted forest to baronial demesne to tourist destination. From tabloid-fodder gossip to moments of morality and financial hardship, The Last Castle tells a story resonant in our celebrity-riddled times.

Read by the author, with the recording produced by Brilliance Audio. Reviewed by Ryan Paul Winn.


Ryan Paul Winn is a columnist and media critic who’s rarely without an audiobook or his earbuds. When not writing or teaching in the Liberal Studies department at College of Menominee Nation in Keshena, Wisconsin, he can be found researching overlooked history in local and national archives.