Maya’s Must Reads: Researching The Gilded Age
One frequently asked question I get is this: do you do research for your books? The answer, of course, is yes. OMG YES. Especially with my new series, The Gilded Age Girls Club, which is set in New York City in 1895. I wasn’t familiar with the time period the way I was with the Regency era and so I had to start essentially from scratch. This required a lot of fascinating reading.
I found these books browsing in libraries, book stores museum gift shops (The Lower East Side Tenement Museum is 100% for interesting history books), and going down the internet rabbit hole that somehow always ended with me ordering something weird from Amazon third party sellers.
My Must Read Gilded Age Book List
- America’s First Lady Boss by Curtiss Johnson
- When The Astors Owned New York: Blue Bloods and Grand Hotels In A Gilded Age by Justin Kaplan
- The Husband Hunters: American Heiresses Who Married into the British Aristocracy by Anne de Courcy
- Ladies of Labor, Girls of Adventure: Working Women, Popular Culture and Labor Politics at the Turn of the Twentieth Century by Nan Enstad
- Breadwinners: Working Women & Economic Independence 1865-1920 by Lara Vapnek
- Gilded Suffragists: The New York Socialites Who Fought For Women’s Right To Vote by Johanna Nueman
- Crusades and Crinolines by Ishbel Ross This book and I have a crazy, meant to be history you can read about here.
- Black Gotham: A Family History of African Americans in Nineteenth-Century New York City by Carla L. Peterson
- The Female Economy: The Millinery and Dressmaking Trades, 1860-1930 by Wendy Gamber
- The Clubwoman As Feminist: True Womanhood Redefind, 1868-1914 by Karen J. Blair
- To Marry an English Lord: Tales of Wealth and Marriage, Sex and Snobbery by Gail MacColl and Carol McD. Wallace
- The Gilded Age: Overture to the American Century by Alan Axelrod
Special shout out to the Bowery Boys podcast so I can do research while cooking dinner. #HowIGetItDone
I was also completely lucky that the Fashion Institute of Technology’s museum was hosting an exhibit “From Pockets To Purses” and the New York Historical Society had an exhibit “Feathers: Fashion and the Fight for Wildlife” just as I was writing a book that was all about pockets and feathers and fashion. How fortuitous! But that is life in New York City for you 😉