H. W. Brands
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Featured Article: The Gilded Age in History and Fiction
While fans of Julian Fellowes’s Gilded Age may be gagging on the luxurious costumes and sumptuous sets, part of the fun is sorting out fact from fiction in the HBO period drama. With a mix of invented characters and actual historical figures—such as society queen Caroline Astor and African American newspaper editor and civil rights leader T. Thomas Fortune—enthusiasts have plenty of resources available so they can learn the truth about the extravagant era when wealthy railroad magnates and other arrivistes were upending late 19th-century New York City society and culture.