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The Gilded Age

The HBO series The Gilded Age follows Marion Brook (played by Louisa Jacobson, actor Meryl Streep’s daughter) who travels from Pennsylvania to New York after her father dies and leaves her penniless. Happily, her aunts Ada Brook and Agnes van Rhijn take her in, though she begins to find the social conventions stifling. Across the street, George Russell and his wife Bertha are a newly rich couple in the railroad business. Met with suspicion, they struggle to socialise with the snobbish old élite.
Many male characters in the series are based on some of the ‘robber barons’ or ‘captains of industry’ of the day.
The series is equally based on women belonging to an élite group of socialites known as “The Four Hundred”, a list of society’s most relevant. At the time, women could not vote but had significant social power.