Podcasts The Gilded Gentleman

Meet the real Mrs. Astor: The woman who invented New York’s high society

Spend the holidays with The Gilded Gentleman, the new Bowery Boys spin-off podcast about America’s Gilded Age period, hosted by social and culinary historian Carl Raymond

Carl released two new episodes this week, looking at two very different aspects of life in New York City in the late 19th century.

In The Real Mrs. Astor, Carl looks at one of the most legendary figures of the period – Caroline Astor, or the Mrs Astor, the ruler and creator of New York’s Gilded Age high society in the early 1870s.

In collaboration with Southern social climber Ward McAllister, Astor essentially created the rules for who was ‘acceptable’ in New York social circles.

But she’s also known for her battles with family members — most notably with her nephew (and next door neighbor) William Waldorf Astor. What was behind her unusual motivations? And in what unusual way did she decide to cap her legacy at the end of her life?

Carl is joined by Tom Miller, creator of the website Daytonian in Manhattan, documenting the history of New York City, one building at a time. 

New York Evening World, 1901

Subscribe to the Gilded Gentleman now and you’ll get ANOTHER new episode on the life of Murray Hall, a Tammany Hall politician and operator of an employment agency for domestic help in the late 19th century.

But Murray had a secret – one that he took to his grave. A remarkable story and one we think will move you. 

Joining Carl on this show is Ken Lustbader from the NYC LGBT Historic Sites Project. His research into Murray’s life has helped keep this story alive. 

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