New York Society in the Gilded Age: Background information when reading A Well-Behaved Woman

Summary |  Excerpt |  Reviews |  Beyond the Book |  Readalikes |  Genres & Themes |  Author Bio

A Well-Behaved Woman

A Novel of the Vanderbilts

by Therese Anne Fowler

A Well-Behaved Woman by Therese Anne Fowler X
A Well-Behaved Woman by Therese Anne Fowler
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

  • First Published:
    Oct 2018, 400 pages
    Paperback:
    Oct 1, 2019, 528 pages

  • Rate this book


Book Reviewed by:
Davida Chazan
Buy This Book

About this Book

New York Society in the Gilded Age

This article relates to A Well-Behaved Woman

Caroline AstorMost of the first half of Therese Anne Fowler's A Well-Behaved Woman focuses on Alva Vanderbilt's efforts to break into New York society, which was ruled by a small group of families during what is known as the Gilded Age (1870s-1900). The doyenne of New York society at the time was Caroline Astor who, aided by Ward McAllister, a Savannah-born self-appointed arbiter of high society, not only codified what was considered proper behavior but also who was acceptable in their high society. Ward McAllister is best remembered today for coining the term "The Four Hundred" when he declared that there were "only 400 people in fashionable New York Society." This made me wonder about the rivalry between Alva and Caroline, and the criteria for getting accepted into this exclusive club?

The original name for New York was New Amsterdam, which is the first clue to understanding the origins of the era's high society – being a direct descendant of one of the first Dutch ...

Subscribers Only

This article is only available to members at this time, but you can read these articles for free.

About Membership


Member Login


Library Patron Login

Editor's Choice

  • Book Jacket: Women Talking
    Women Talking
    by Miriam Toews
    Miriam Toews' Women Talking is a circadian novel, unfolding over a span of just a few hours and ...
  • Book Jacket: Confessions of an Innocent Man
    Confessions of an Innocent Man
    by David R. Dow
    It is circumstance that carries the wave that sweeps trendy Houston restaurateur Rafael Zhettah to ...
  • Book Jacket: Memories of the Future
    Memories of the Future
    by Siri Hustvedt
    I've never kept a journal, but my mother has written in hers for years, the annual volumes she's ...
  • Book Jacket: Professor Chandra Follows His Bliss
    Professor Chandra Follows His Bliss
    by Rajeev Balasubramanyam
    Rajeev Balasubramanyam encapsulates the theme of Professor Chandra Follows his Bliss in its first ...

Readers Recommend

  • Book Jacket

    Greek to Me
    by Mary Norris

    The Comma Queen returns with a buoyant book about language, love, and the wine-dark sea.
    Reader Reviews

  • Book Jacket

    The Affairs of the Falcóns
    by Melissa Rivero

    A beautiful, urgent novel about the lengths one woman is willing to go to build a new life.
    Reader Reviews

Book Club
Book Jacket
An American Marriage
by Tayari Jones

A masterpiece of storytelling, and a 2018 Oprah's Book Club Selection.

About the book
Join the discussion!
Book Club Giveaway!
Win Ecstasy

Win copies to share with friends or your book club!

Ecstasy reveals the true Alma Mahler: composer, author, daughter, mother, wife, lover, and muse.

Enter

Word Play

Solve this clue:

A B Penny A T U

and be entered to win..

Books that     
entertain,
     engage

 & enlighten

Visitors can view some of BookBrowse for free. Full access is for members only.

Join Today!

Your guide toexceptional          books

BookBrowse seeks out and recommends the best in contemporary fiction and nonfiction—books that not only engage and entertain but also deepen our understanding of ourselves and the world around us.