The second season of Ryan Murphy’s iconic Feud series will take us into the glamourous of heart of Manhattan high society in the 1960s.
The show, which tackles some of the world’s most famous feuds, followed the rivalry between Hollywood Joan Crawford and Bette Davis in season one. This time round, the show will tackle the fall out between American novelist, Truman Capote and his circle of high society women, affectionately dubbed his ‘swans.’
The second season will draw from Laurence Leamer’s bestselling book, Capote’s Women: A True Story of Love, Betrayal and a Swan Song for an Era, and see a number of big name stars take on the iconic roles, including Naomi Watts, Diane Lane and Demi Moore.
Who Was Truman Capote?
Truman Capote was an American novelist, screenwriter and playwright, whose most famous works include Breakfast At Tiffany’s and In Cold Blood.
Capote also had an eccentric public persona, known for his circle of rich and influential friends, party habits and unique mannerisms, such as his high pitched voice and unashamed fabrications. Capote, while open about being gay, never embraced the gay rights movement of the era.
In ‘Feud’, Capote will be portrayed by Tom Hollander and the story will focus on the years following the publication of Breakfast At Tiffany’s and In Cold Blood, when Capote decided his next novel would be based on the lives and secrets of his famous friends.
Who Were Truman Capote’s Swans?
In the mid 60s, Capote became well known for his circle of high society female friends. These women, who were some of New York’s most fashionable high society figures, accompanied him to parties, on yachts and overseas holidays.
They were his his biggest supporters and confidants, and he was theirs—until he betrayed them, and their most scandalous secrets, for a story published in Esquire.
Lee Radziwill was the younger sister of Jackie Kennedy Onassis. She was not only part of the exclusive New York City socialite circle of the 60s but also became the wife (until it ended it divorce) of a Polish Prince and inherited the title of Princess.
Babe Paley was a Vogue fashion editor, New York City socialite and wife of CBS founder William S. Paley. In the 40s, Paley was ranked the world’s second-best dressed woman by Time magazine, making the twice more in the same decade. She was also inducted into the Fashion Hall of Fame in 1958.
Lucy Douglas “C. Z.” Guest was an American stage actress, author, fashion designer and socialite. She was regularly photographed by fashion photographer, Slim Aarons and made many ‘best dressed’ lists.
Nancy “Slim” Keith was an American socialite and fashion icon in the 1960s, known for her elegant and crisp style. At the time, she became known as an icon of the American jet set, a group of wealthy people who could afford to travel for luxe social activities, such as flying to Rome for a party.
Ann Woodward was American socialite, showgirl, model, and radio actress. While never convicted, Ann Woodward became a controversial figure after being suspected of murdering her husband.
How Did Capote Betray His Swans?
Capote based his tell-all novel, Answered Prayers, on the lives of his socialite friends. First published as an excerpt in Esquire, the novel dished the details on extramarital affairs, offering unflattering portrayals of the women and, despite his pseudonym, essentially accused Anne Woodward of murdering her husband.
While airing the dirty laundry of New York high society, the novel went as far as spilling gossip about Princess Margaret and describing Jackie Kennedy Onassis as “unrefined” and “exaggerated.”
What Happened After?
The novel had dire consequences for Capote’s social life, as soon after publication he was essentially cut off from his ‘swans’ and left in social isolation. It was rumoured that Woodward was prematurely warned on the novel’s publication, as the socialite committed suicide weeks before it’s release.
The aftermath was rumoured to have pushed Capote into a more severe level of drug and alcohol abuse. The writer was in and out of rehab in the 1970s before becoming largely recluse in the 1980s before dying from liver disease, complicated by intoxication, in 1984.