In 1946, Robert Allerton donated his 5,500 acre estate to the University of Illinois. For the last 60 years, residents from throughout central Illinois have spent leisurely hours wandering these formal gardens which are punctuated with sculptures from around the world. Although the gardens and mansion are now very public, until this book, Robert Allerton himself was a mystery. Through painstaking research, the authors have uncovered facts, letters and more that paint a picture of Robert Allerton, a very private man whose real story is perhaps even more interesting than the local speculation and lore. The book includes dozens of photographs, both old and new, which bring the man and his gift to life for the reader.