This map plots the settings and references in The Age of Innocence
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St. Augustine is located in north central Florida. It is known as the "Ancient City." The historic district is today characterised by cobblestone streets, cafes, bars, boutique shops and bed-and-breakfasts.
The city has long been a popular travel destination, offering a mild climate for much of the year. It boasts many marinas, enabling easy boating access by sea, river and Intracoastal waterway, together with miles of pristine beaches.
Tourism landmarks that would have been available to the Wellands in the 1870s include the Castillo de San Marcos, dating from the time of the Spanish empire, and constructed over 23 years, from 1672 to 1695. It is made of coquina, a very strong limestone comprised of broken sea shells and coral. They might also have gazed upon Fort Matanzas, built between 1740 and 1742 by the Spanish, to provide a strategic view of sea vessels approaching from the south, via the Matanzas River. In 1889 Henry Flagler opened the Alcazar Hotel, offering guests a huge indoor pool, retractable roof, casino, spa, and movie theatre.
An August 1873 supplement to Harper's Weekly records Rhode Island as being settled in 1638 “by John Clark and a little band of persecuted brethren seeking an asylum from the religious intolerance of Massachusetts.” The first settlement was on the north of the island, at Portsmouth. The following spring, Newport was founded on the south of the island.
The supplement describes Newport as “the oldest and most picturesque watering-place in this country. The town began its rise to popularity in 1830, when it “became known as a pleasant watering-place. Families from the Southern States, attracted by its genial climate, began to visit here during the summer, living entirely in boarding-houses.” It took until 1851 before the town became a highly popular and fashionable watering-place. The rush for development quickly followed – private cottages sprung up along the main streets, and the wealthy soon began building ornate summer residences. The town was suddenly populated by Swiss chalets, French villas, and English cottages. According to the supplement, “probably in no other place in America has there been such lavish expenditure of money in the search for comfort and luxury.”
By 1870, Newport was “the metropolis of summer resorts. Its picturesque situation, delightful climate, and the charm of shady groves… must for many years to come give it the preference with those who value these advantages above the attractions of a purely fashionable resort.” Read more from the supplement here.
The Academy of Music was an opera house located in Manhattan, New York. The 4,000-seat hall opened on October 2, 1854, and became the city's premiere opera venue until 1883 when it was supplanted by the new Metropolitan Opera House.
In 1886, the Academy ceased presenting opera, turning instead to vaudeville theatre for a time before renting the venue out to labour organisations in the early 1900s for the staging of rallies. In 1926 the building was demolished, along with its neighbour Tammany Hall, for the construction of the Consolidated Edison Company Building.
Central Park is an urban green space in the middle of Manhattan. Opened in 1859, it covers 843 acres. Prior to construction, the rocky, marshy area was inhabited by many impoverished immigrants who were removed in 1857 under the rule of eminent domain (compulsory purchase).
The royal Tuileries Palace stood on the right bank of the River Seine in Paris until 1871. The site is now the location of the Tuileries Garden. The Palace was commissioned by Catherine de' Medici in 1564. It was occupied on and off by the French monarchy until the Revolution in 1789.
When Napoleon Bonaparte came to power in 1799, he made the Tuileries the official residence of the First Consul, and later the imperial palace. The Palace reverted to a royal residence during the Bourbon Restoration (1814-1830). During the July Revolution of 1830, it was attacked by an armed mob and occupied. King Louis Philippe took up residence at the Palace until 1848, when it was again invaded, looted and damaged.
Napoleon’s nephew, Louis-Napoléon Bonaparte, was elected President in 1848. He declared himself Emperor Napoleon III in 1852, establishing a court in the Tuileries. During his reign, the Palace was extensively refurbished and redecorated. He ruled as Emperor until September 1870, when he was deposed during the Franco-Prussian War.
In May 1871, during the suppression of the Paris Commune, the Tuileries Palace was set alight. The fire raged for 48 hours and entirely consumed the Palace. The ruins stood for 11 years, but in 1882 the French National Assembly voted to demolish them and sold them to a private entrepreneur. The demolition was started in February 1883 and completed in September.
Since 2003 there has been talk of rebuilding the Tuileries. The new palace could be furnished with the furniture and paintings taken from the Tuileries in 1870 at the start of the Franco-Prussian war.
The Blue Danube (An der schönen blauen Donau) is a waltz composed by Johann Strauss II in 1866.
The Danube is a central European river which rises in the Black Forest in Germany and discharges into the Black Sea via the Danube Delta in Romania and Ukraine.
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Madison Square Garden was designed by Stanford White, an American architect, in 1890. He designed houses for the very wealthy, as well as many iconic public and religious buildings, including Washington Square Arch in New York (1889). He designed a series of high society mansions on Fifth Avenue and Long Island, and his famous “cottages” in Newport, Rhode Island (the cottages generally had double corridors, to ensure that a guest never bumped into a servant).
He lived a life of luxury and indulgence, and was well known for his penchant for young chorus girls. In his Madison Square apartment, girls "in varying degrees of undress" would entertain him. One of these was the actress Evelyn Nesbit. White had a brief sexual affair with Evelyn when she was 16, and he 47. This was to lead to his very public murder, six years later.
In the interim Nesbit had married millionaire Harry Kendall Thaw. Thaw had a reputation for being violent and paranoid, and held a long-standing grudge against White, who tended to be more popular with the chorus girls than Thaw.
In June 1906, White attended the premiere of a musical revue at the Madison Square Roof Garden. Thaw arrived at the premier in a long black overcoat, which he refused to remove. As the finale played on stage, Thaw walked straight up to White, and shot him three times in the face, killing him instantly. The subsequent trial was dubbed by the newspapers as the Trial of the Century. The events were fictionalised in the 1975 novel Ragtime.
Examples of blind cave fish from the Mammoth Cave of Kentucky have been known to science since 1841. There are a number of different species that live in the waters of dark limestone caves and as a response to this lightless existence; they no longer have eyes. The fish are small, around 10cm and range in colour from white to light pink. They find their way around the dark tunnels using their other senses and are particularly touch sensitive. It is listed as Vulnerable to extinction by the IUCN primarily due to its limited habitat range.
Delft pottery is a blue and white glazed pottery made in and around the city of Delft in the Netherlands, which had its heyday between 1640 and 1740. Painted pottery was produced in Delft since around 1500, but the iconic blue and white patterns were inspired by the porcelain imported from China by the Dutch East India Company in the early 17th century. Only the richest could afford the original Chinese pieces, but soon the Dutch master potters were copying the detailed designs, making them affordable to nearly all.
Delftware ranged from simple earthenware jars to vases, from tiles to intricately patterned plates. Whole ranges of plates were produced featuring religious motifs, traditional Dutch landscapes and even the words to poems or songs – once the plates were clear, the assembled dinner guests would burst into chorus. Many houses in the Netherlands still retain their Delftware tiles today.
From the mid-eighteenth century Delftware began to lose its popularity to British porcelain, however a few factories remain in production to the modern day. ‘Delfts Blauw’ (Delft Blue) is the brand name which can be found on all genuinely Delft-produced pottery.
The Alhambra (from the Arabic Calat Alhambra meaning ‘the red fortress’) is a palace and fortress complex located in Granada, the capital city of the province of the same name in Andalusia, Spain. It was constructed during the mid 14th century by the Moorish rulers of the Emirate of Granada in al-Andalus.
Today, it is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of Spain’s major tourist attractions.
Grace Church is a French Gothic Revival church on Broadway and East 10th Street in New York City. It was designed by James Renwick, Jr. and built 1846-7. The church has been designated a US National Historic Landmark.
The chancel is the area around the altar.
Brown's Hotel was founded on Albermarle Street in the Mayfair area of London in 1837. It underwent modification in 1889, when it was amalgamated with St. George's Hotel, and remains in existence today as a five-star luxury establishment. The fictional hotel in Agatha Christie's At Bertram's Hotel (1965) is based on Brown's.
The Clyde is the third longest river in Scotland, at 106 miles. Historically it was of great economic importance, due to the industry situated along its banks in the lower sections, from the Cotton mills of Lanarkshire, upstream of Glasgow, to the ship building of Clydebank and Dumbarton towards the estuary.
Two of the world’s largest luxury liners of their time, the Queen Mary (1934) and Queen Elizabeth (1938) were launched from the John Brown shipyard in Clydebank. The Queen Mary is now moored on London’s Victoria Embankment, next to Waterloo Bridge, as a pub.
The Clyde shipyards were heavily bombed during World War II. One strategy for reducing the devestation was construction of false towns in the hills of the surrounding area. Black-out conditions, and the inaccuracies of navigation over such a long distance, not to mention anti-aircraft guns, made it possible to misdirect the German bombers with lights placed in prefab structures. The latter made for a diversion target, protecting the actual towns.
Wall Street’s history is liberally peppered with fraudsters and rogues. The most prominent villains include:
Bernard Madoff - a prominent money manager and former chairman of the Nasdaq Stock Market. In March 2009 he confessed to turning his wealth management business into a massive Ponzi scheme, defrauding thousands of investors of almost $65 billion. Investigators believe the fraud began as early as the 1970s. In June 2009 Madoff was sentenced to 150 years for what a federal judge called an act of "extraordinary evil.”
Bernard Ebbers- former chairman of defunct telecommunications company Worldcom Inc. In 2005 he was convicted of fraud and conspiracy as a result of WorldCom's false financial reporting, and subsequent loss of US100-billion to investors. At the time the WorldCom scandal was the largest accounting scandal in US history (subsequently eclipsed by Madoff). He was sentenced to 25 years in prison. Time magazine named him the tenth most corrupt CEO of all time.
Kenneth Lay – former chairman of Enron Corp. He was accused of lying about the financial state of the company, which filed for bankruptcy in 2001. He was convicted of 11 counts of securities fraud and related charges. He died while vacationing in Colorado, a few months before his scheduled sentencing.
Some Wall Street villains have reacted to their notoriety in strange ways.
Marcus Schrenker, a former investment adviser with Heritage Wealth Management Inc, was accused of misleading investors and misappropriating hundreds of thousands of dollars. In response, he faked his death in a plane crash in early 2009. He is currently serving a four year sentence for faking his death, having reached a plea bargain on the fraud charges.
Ross Mandell styles himself as a real-life Gordon Gekko (as played by Michael Douglas in the 1987 movie Wall Street). Indicted for conspiracy and securities fraud, he has used the charges to drum up personal publicity, and aims to get his own reality TV show.
Jordan Belfort’s books about his high-life as a fraudster, The Wolf of Wall Street, and Catching the Wolf of Wall Street, tell the tale of his rise and fall, with lots of sex and drugs along the way. The books are best sellers, and a movie is currently in production. He tours as a motivational speaker, ‘discussing how to achieve success without sacrificing integrity and ethics.’
The Pennsylvania Railroad (PRR) was founded in 1846 and operated continuously through various mergers and acquisitions until 1970 when it filed for bankruptcy. The PRR was the largest railroad by traffic and revenue in the U.S. for the first half of the twentieth century, and was at one time the largest publicly traded corporation in the world.
The PRR rail network extended from Philadelphia to Jersey City. Crossing the Hudson River to Manhattan, however, required passengers to transfer to ferries. After a failed attempt at building a tunnel in 1874, then a bridge in 1895, construction of a pair of single-track tunnels began in 1904. The tunnels were opened in 1910, a decade before the publication of The Age of Innocence, and ran between Weehawken and mid-town Manhattan.
The collection had been put together by the Italian-born amateur archaeologist and soldier Luigi Palma di Cesnola (1832-1904) while he was the United States consul in Cyprus. Cesnola was appointed first director of the Metropolitan Museum in 1879.
Aphrodite of Milos is an ancient Greek marble, better known as the Venus de Milo. Aphrodite is an ancient Greek goddess of love and beauty. Venus is her Roman equivalent. The statue was created sometime between 130 and 100 BC. It is thought to be the work of Alexandros of Antioch. It is on display at the Louvre in Paris.
The Aphrodite of Milos was discovered by a Greek peasant in 1820, inside a buried niche within the ancient city ruins of Milos (now Tripiti) on the island of Milos. It was found in two main pieces - the upper torso and the lower draped legs. After some bureaucratic bumbling, it was bought by the by the French ambassador to Turkey, who had it removed to the Louvre.
The Grolier Club was founded in 1884 in New York by printing press manufacturer and book collector Robert Hoe and eight fellow bibliophiles. The men were all involved in the editing, design, production, sale or acquisition of fine books. They named their club after the great French bibliophile Jean Grolier. The Club’s Constitution committed it to fostering “the study, collecting, and appreciation of books and works on paper, their art, history, production, and commerce.” It would achieve this through the maintenance of a library devoted to all aspects of the book and graphic arts; occasional publication of books designed to illustrate, promote and encourage the book and graphic arts; and exhibitions and educational programs.
Today, the Club has nearly 800 members, mostly American. Membership is by nomination. Recommendations are made on the basis of a candidate's passion for books, generally as a collector, scholar, librarian or printer. To date the Grolier Club was published over 400 historical works. It has a 100,000-volume collection of books - author and subject bibliographies, histories of printing, publishing and collecting, and exhibition catalogues, bookseller and book auction catalogues.
The Club's first home was a few rented rooms at 64 Madison Avenue. In 1890 it moved to 29 East 32nd Street, where it remains today. The present Clubhouse is on East 60th Street in Midtown Manhattan.
A square in central Paris first laid at the turn of the 18th century and named for César, duc de Vendôme.
It is the site of the Paris Ritz.
The Place de la Concorde is the largest square in Paris. Construction of the square began in 1754 and it was designed to showcase an equestrian statue of Louis XV. At the start of the French Revolution, the statue was torn down and replaced by a guillotine. During the height of the revolt, between 1793 and 1795, the guillotine was responsible for the execution of over 1300 people, including Marie Antoinette and Louis XVI. Mehmet Ali, the Ottoman Viceroy offered France an Egyptian Obelisk in 1829. In 1833 the Luxor Obelisk was placed in the centre of the square on the site where the guillotine used to be.
Today, the most dominating feature is still the 230 ton obelisk, almost 23m high in the centre of the square. It is engraved with Egyptian hieroglyphics that commemorate the Pharaoh Ramses II. When it arrived in Paris in 1833 it was already over 3300 years old. The Place de la Concorde that Edith Watson wrote about hasn’t changed since much the end of the French Revolution, and the present day square remains much the same despite differences in road surfaces, traffic and fashion of the pedestrians walking across the square.
The Palace of Versailles is a magnificent royal château in France and a World Heritage Site. When the château was built, Versailles was a country village; today, it is a suburb of Paris, some twenty kilometres southwest of the French capital.
The court of Versailles was the centre of political power in France from 1682, when Louis XIV moved from Paris, until the royal family was forced to return there in October 1789 after the beginning of French Revolution.
Versailles is therefore famous not only as a building, but as a symbol absolute monarchy.
Les Invalides (officially L’Hôtel National des Invalides) is a complex of buildings in the 7th arrondissement of Paris. Built between 1670 and 1676 on the order of Louis XIV as a hospital and retirement home for war veterans, it continues to fulfil its original purpose today as well as being home to museums and monuments connected to French military history. The building was designed by Libéral Bruant, and the iconic domed chapel by Jules Hardouín Mansart.
Although Les Invalides contains fifteen courtyards and several garden areas, the ‘great tree-planted space’ probably refers to Le Jardin de l’Intendant (Garden of the Steward) – a large garden of lawns, trees, flowerbeds and fountains situated to the front and south-west of the Eglise du Dôme (Church of the Dome), part of the Invalides complex.