9

SATURDAY

An eerie silence hangs over Dupont Circle’s imposing mansions, where never-seen inhabitants seem to shimmer through life, never a door slammed, never a slight screamed. In the early 1900s, these charming châteaux were the showpieces of Washington’s high-society femmes—women of grace, wit, and obscene wealth, like heiress Evelyn Walsh McLean, who owned the Hope diamond before its Smithsonian days. But as we peasants enjoy acknowledging, all was not so sublime behind the French doors. The diamond, as legend has it, visited misfortune on each of its owners, passing through the doomed hands of Marie Antoinette before landing in McLean’s jewelry box, after which McLean lost two children to premature deaths and a husband to insanity. Join in the voyeurism, at a Historical Society tour of the abodes of “The Legendary Women of Dupont Circle.” At 10:30 a.m. at the Historical Society of Washington D.C., 1307 New Hampshire Ave. NW. $9. For reservations call (202) 785-2068. (Amanda Ripley)

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