Thursday, June 18, 2009

Tasha Tudor was a well-known children's book illustrator who died last year. She lived in Marlboro Vt. in a replica of a 19th century New England homestead. She made her own clothing and raised goats for their milk. She earned a fortune for her detailed, whimsical illustrations in such classics as "The Secret Garden" and "Little Women."

Her death launched a fierce fight for her $2 million dollar estate. Three of her four children were cut out of her will, leaving most of her estate to her son Seth Tudor and his son. Another son Thomas and two daughters are alleging undue influence. Thomas didn't even know that he was "estranged" or that he had been cut out of the will until he read a copy of it.

The fight has become bitter, with one judge complaining that they just can't agree on anything.

She was an not religious and she didn't want any ceremony or funeral and the children are fighting over a public memorial service that was held months ago. Also she wanted to be cremated with her ashes put to rest in her garden. The siblings are arguing that Seth hasn't properly handled the ashes and hasn't laid her to rest. They have even requested that the ashes be tested, a request Seth's lawyers "utterly pointless and degrading" and an "insinuation of the grossest kind of misconduct."

There is so much poison that Seth's lawyers have asked that the court seal the records, accusing the other siblings of using court filings to wage personal attacks and sully his reputation.

All the gory details are at the Boston Globe

Her obit is here.

And a link to a site ironically called where you can shop for books and prints or schedule a tour.

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