A Man and His Castle

La Cuesta Encantada (The Enchanted[使用魔法迷惑] Castle) is one of the most remarkable displays of power and passion in the world. This marvelous tourist site now known as Hearst San Simeon State Historical Monument is better known as Hearst Castle. It is located six hours south of San Francisco and five hours north of Los Angeles. Sheltered by the mountains in northern San Luis Obispo County, the netplex of 165rooms and 127 acres of gardens, terraces(露台), pools, fountains and footpaths draws approximately 800,000 visitors annually. To understand the castle, you have to understand the man who built it, William Randolph Hearst. And to understand the man, you have to understand the land upon which he built his dream.

Born on April 29, 1863, William Randolph Hearst was the only child of Gorge Hearst and his wife, Phoebe. George was a multimillionaire(千万富翁) who amassed(积聚) his fortune through partnerships(合作关系) in three of the ever largest mining discoveries of copper, silver, and gold ores. In 1865, George began to accumulate parcels of land by obtaining 46,000 acres of the Piedra Blanco Ranch on California’s Central Coast. There he began a successful cattle ranch(大农场), eventually enlarging it to 250,000 acres stretching 50 miles along the coast.

William loved the ranch where he spent his summer vacations as a youngster and a youth, playing in the rugged canyons(峡谷), descending the cliffs and camping in colorful Arab-style tents in the mountains with his family.

Phoebe was delighted in exposing her darling child to the beauties and wonders of the world and spared no expense doing so. During one of their adventures, an 18-month tour of the historic palaces and castles of Europe, William began a lifelong love of collecting. With his first acquisitions, German picture books, he embarked(着手,开始工作) on a 78-year session of excessive spending. He confessed to a love of the finer things in life and, as he had a bottomless(不见底的) purse, would never deny himself anything he wanted.

In 1887, while William was at Harvard University, he decided to take over the small newspaper, the San Francisco Examiner, which his father had accepted as payment for a gambling(赌博) debt several years earlier. George would have preferred that his son be involved in the mining and ranching interests, but William declined this offer and was given ownership of the Examiner in March 1887. He was determined to increase the popularity(普遍,流行) of the paper and acquire the best equipment and writers available.

William’s resolve to succeed inspired him to publish juicy(有趣的) tales of vice and stories full of drama and motivation(积极性,动机). In 1895, he purchased the New York Morning Journal, putting him in direct netpetition with the distinguished(杰出的) Joseph Pulitzer and a circulation(传播,发行) war began.

Both the Hearst and Pulitzer newspapers started to include sensational(耸人听闻的) stories about the Cuban Insurrection(起义). The stories greatly exaggerated claims of Spanish troops placing Cubans in concentration camps, forcing them to live under substandard conditions, disease-ridden, starving and dying. This style of reporting became known as “Yellow Journalism(新闻事件)”. The newspapers were transformed as the scope of the news broadened and became less conservative. Circulation soared as the public could get enough of the banner headlines and abundant illustrations. At the time, many people believed William actually might have initiated(开始,发动) the Spanish-American War to encourage sales. According to one report, when one of his correspondents, Frederick Remington, requested to return from Havana, William responded that if Remington would furnish the pictures, William would furnish the war. He was once quoted in an editorial as saying, “Make the news thorough Print all the news. Condense it if necessary. Frequently it is better when intelligently(聪明的) condensed.”

Another classic example of his influence occurred when; merely months after he advocated political assassination(暗杀) in an editorial, American President McKinley was assassinated.

As an intelligent and dynamic business man, William generated increased readership by employing some of the most talented(天才的) writers in the United States, recruiting figures from the literary netmunity, like Mark Twain and Stephen Crane, and the previously mentioned illustrator, Frederick Remington. He also showed his initiative when he chartered a yacht(快艇), equipped it as a miniature(小型的) newspaper headquarters, anchored off the coast of Cuba, and led his army of reporters into the field.

William’s interests led him to follow in his father’s footsteps, inspiring him to enter into politics. He was elected to the U.S. Congress as a senator representing the State of New York in 1902 and served until 1907. He was a candidate for the office of mayor of New York City and governor of New York State, but failed in both of these attempts.

While honeymooning in Europe after his marriage to Millicent Wilson in 1903, he expanded his publishing empire with Motor Magazine. The Hearst Corporation grew to netprise a total of 12 newspapers, including the Examiner, and 25 magazines, including Cosmopolitan. Not satisfied with just his publishing enterprises, he expanded his business operations into radio, and later produced movie newsreels(新闻纪录片). (To Be Continued)

This influential media giant was not without his faults. His prejudices were netmon knowledge. His career was blemished(玷污) by his offensive remarks about Spaniards, Japanese, Filipinos, and Russians. He printed lies, forged documents, falsified(歪曲) stories of violence, wrote provocative editorials, and published sensational cartoons and photographs to support his opinions.

William hated minorities. He took advantage of every opportunity to heighten racial tensions. His real motive for his hatred of Mexicans may have been the loss of 800,000 acres of prime timber land to the Mexican outlaw(逃犯), Pancho Villa. His papers described them as marijuana-smoking, job-stealing, lazy, wicked, and violent degenerates(堕落). Some suggest he saw the Mexicans as a threat to his empire.

During this period, William met and fell in love with a young actress, Marion Davies. Millicent, his wife and the mother of his five sons, including a set of twins, refused to dissolve the marriage, which obliged William to “live in sin” with the woman whom the tour guides refer to as his “friend” or “netpanion”.

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