Review of Mrs. Astor’s New York

MRS. ASTOR’S NEW YORK: Money and Social Power in a Gilded Age, by Eric Homberger Yale University Press. 336 pages. $29.95 “At the end there was little more than the boundless civility of a hostess,” reads Eric Homberger’s eulogy for Caroline Webster Schermerhorn Astor, doyenne of New York society at the last turn of the century. In fact, in the end there was something more akin to the last days of Mrs. Haversham. Following her “severe nervous breakdown” in 1906 Mrs. Astor continued to shop, “but at the instructions of her family the goods were never delivered.” She continued to Read More