If You Like….

No Gilded Age novel would be complete without a stop in Newport. So, naturally, my characters (and I) had to spend a bit of time there.

But when I sat down to make this “If You Like” list, I was surprised by how hard it was to think of books set in Newport in the 1880s and 90s. There are certainly plenty of books with Newport interludes– Wharton’s The Age Of Innocence, for one– but it was harder to think of books that took place primarily in Newport. Do you have suggestions? Please feel free to add your own favorites.

In the meantime, if you like books set in Gilded Age Newport, you’ll probably like….

— John Jakes’s The Gods of Newport, in which the author of North and South takes on the rarefied air of 1890s Newport in the story of a robber baron determined to win acceptance for himself and his daughter;

— Daisy Goodwin’s The American Heiress, which, like Edith Wharton’s The Buccaneers, takes place largely in England, but opens in Newport;

— on the mystery front, Alyssa Maxwell’s Gilded Newport mystery series, beginning with Murder at the Breakers, in which a Vanderbilt cousin turns sleuth;

— and along the same lines, Shelley Freydont’s A Gilded Grave and A Golden Cage, featuring an heiress turned sleuth in 1890s Newport.

Where I’m really drawing a blank is romance novels. I’d vaguely remembered Jill Barnett’s Carried Away starting in Newport, but it turned out not to be. There must be at least one 80s-era romance set in Newport, no?

What are your favorite late nineteenth century Newport-set novels?


  1. Amy m on August 1, 2017 at 7:14 pm

    If I remember correctly, Spindrift by Phyllis Whitney is set in Newport.

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