Great Ideas of Gilded Age Topic of Talks

Want to know more about Alva Belmont, who last name once was Vanderbilt, noted Newport socialite and leading figure in the women’s Suffrage Movement? A cup of tea more your cup of tea? Have a love of Providence architecture or wonder about Edith Wharton’s work?

All that is covered in “Great Ideas of the Gilded Age, a lecture series presented at Rosecliff mansion by the Preservation Society of Newport County. Advanced registration for each of the four lectures is required at or by calling 401-847-1851.

Dr. Johanna Neuman

On Sept. 6, “Gilded Suffragists – How Alva Belmont Refashioned the Women’s Suffrage Movement,” will be led by Dr. Johanna Neuman, scholar-in-residence at American University. Neuman will talk about the role played by some of the most wealthy and influential women of the Gilded Age, including leaders of New York and Newport society, in winning the right for women to vote. A book signing follows the lecture.

David Brussat, journalist and author, talks about “Lost Providence” on Sept. 28. The former architectural columnist for the Providence Journal will talk about the dynamic history of architectural change in the city, followed by a book signing. On Oct. 12, “Luxurious Consumption- The Rituals & Artistry of Afternoon Tea,” will be presented by Ellen Easton, tea and etiquette authority and author. Topics include how tea funded the women’s right-to-vote movement, pinkies up or down, how to eat a scone and menu planning.  A book signing will follow the lecture.

Last in the series is “Picturing Edith Wharton’s Work” on Oct. 26, led by Dr. Melanie Dawson, associate professor of English at The College of William and Mary. She will discuss the published works of Wharton and about how magazine illustrators affected and even revised the author’s writings in the early 20th century.

Cost for each lecture is $10 for society members, $15 for non-members. The lectures at Rosecliff, 548 Bellevue Ave., all start at 6 p.m.



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