You may be waiting for the second season of the drama series The Gilded Age, which premieres (Max) on Sunday, October 29. If you have not yet seen the first season, find the DVD (linked below) for checkout at the Library. If you prefer your entertainment to be in printed form, and would like to travel back in time to an age when unimaginable wealth, strict norms of etiquette and social status were the keys to power, slip into one of these titles–as captivating and sumptuous as a gown from the House of Worth.
An American Beauty: A Novel of the Gilded Age by Shana Abé
(2023) FIC ABÉ, S
Amidst the opulent glamor and vicious social circles of Gilded Age New York, this stunning biographical historical novel by the New York Times bestselling author of The Second Mrs. Astor conjures the true rags-to-riches story of Arabella Huntington — a woman whose great beauty was surpassed only by her exceptional business acumen, grit, and artistic eye, and who defied the constraints of her era to become the wealthiest self-made woman in America.
American Duchess: A Novel of Consuelo Vanderbilt by Karen Harper
(2019) FIC HARPER, K
Karen Harper tells the tale of Consuelo Vanderbilt, her “The Wedding of the Century” to the Duke of Marlborough, and her quest to find meaning behind “the glitter and the gold.”
From the dawning of the opulent Gilded Age, to the battles of the Second World War, American Duchess is a riveting tale of one woman’s quest to attain independence–at any price.
The American Heiress by Daisy Goodwin
(2011) FIC GOODWIN, D
Be careful what you wish for. Traveling abroad with her mother at the turn of the twentieth century to seek a titled husband, beautiful, vivacious Cora Cash, whose family mansion in Newport dwarfs the Vanderbilts’, suddenly finds herself Duchess of Wareham, married to Ivo, the most eligible bachelor in England. Nothing is quite as it seems, however: Ivo is withdrawn and secretive, and the English social scene is full of traps and betrayals. Money, Cora soon learns, cannot buy everything, as she must decide what is truly worth the price in her life and her marriage.
Witty, moving, and brilliantly entertaining, Cora’s story marks the debut of a glorious storyteller who brings a fresh new spirit to the world of Edith Wharton and Henry James.
The Gilded Age [The Complete First Season] Warner Bros. Entertaiment
(2022) GIL-1 [DVD]
A period of immense economic change, of huge fortunes made and lost, and the rise of disparity between old money and new. A wide-eyed young scion of a conservative family, Marian, embarks on a mission to infiltrate the wealthy neighboring clan or her aunts Agnes van Rhijn and Ada Brook, dominated by ruthless railroad tycoon George Russell, his rakish son, Larry, and his ambitious wife, Bertha. In this exciting new world that is on the brink of the modern age, will Marian follow the established rules of society, or forge her own path?
Mrs. Astor’s New York: Money and Social Power in a Gilded Age by Eric Homberger
(2002) 974.71041 HOM
Mrs. Astor, undisputed queen of New York society in the decades before the First World War, created a social aristocracy of unparalleled extravagance and exclusivity. This lively account of her life and the era over which she presided sheds new light on the origins and lifestyle of this aristocracy.
The Republic for
The Social Graces by Renée Rosen
(2021) FIC ROSEN, R
In the glittering world of Manhattan’s upper crust, where wives turn a blind eye to husbands’ infidelities, and women have few rights and even less independence, society is everything. The more celebrated the hostess, the more powerful the woman. And none is more powerful than Caroline Astor. But times are changing. Alva Vanderbilt has recently married into one of America’s richest families. But what good is money when society refuses to acknowledge you? When it carries on just as it has done for generations? Alva, who knows what it is to have nothing, will do whatever it takes to have everything. Sweeping three decades and based on true events, this gripping novel follows these two women as they try to outdo and outsmart each other at every turn.
What the Dead Leave Behind by Rosemary Simpson
(2017) M SIMPSON, R [Book 1 of the A Gilded Age Mystery series]
As the Great Blizzard of 1888 cripples the vast machinery that is New York City, heiress Prudence MacKenzie sits anxiously within her palatial Fifth Avenue home waiting for her fiancé’s safe return. But the fearsome storm rages through the night. With daylight, more than two hundred people are found to have perished in the icy winds and treacherous snowdrifts. Among them is Prudence’s fiancé-his body frozen, his head crushed by a heavy branch, his fingers clutching a single playing card, the ace of spades . . .Filled with richly colorful characters, fascinating historical details, and thrilling moments of suspense, What the Dead Leave Behind is an exquisitely crafted mystery for the ages.
(2018) 92 ASTOR C, TIC
Cecilia Tichi invites us on a beautifully illustrated tour of the Gilded Age, transporting readers to New York at its most fashionable. A colorful tapestry of fun facts and true tales, What Would Mrs. Astor Do? presents a vivid portrait of this remarkable time of social metamorphosis, starring Caroline Astor, the ultimate gatekeeper.