Characters Julian Fellowes’ Gilded Age Gets Wrong: Ward McAllister

In Season 1 of The Gilded Age, Ward McAllister appears to be a beneficent grandfather-figure who helps Bertha Russell after she’s been socially snubbed. A social climber himself who had gained entrance to High Society by ingratiating himself to Caroline Astor, McAllister did help the Vanderbilts, among others, into the same elite company he’d cajoled his way into. But he was viewed by society and the general public as pompous to the point of ridiculousness. Illustrator Charles Dana Gibson routinely lampooned him in Life magazine. When McAllister commented that “there are only about four hundred people in fashionable New York society,” a Gibson cartoon portrayed him as Mother Goose, dressed in an apron and bonnet, waving a banner proclaiming “The 400.” Behind him was a flock of geese—all wearing crowns. Caroline Astor finally grew so tired of McAllister’s posturing that she abandoned him completely.

Note: The Gilded Age airs on Max.

Connie Nordhielm Wooldridge, Author

Connie Nordhielm WooldridgeBiography | View

Speaker / Presenter

Connie is an experienced speaker and presenter who enjoys sharing her passion for writing and her experience as a writer with readers and writers of all ages. She has presented to students, community, civic and professional organizations, writing groups, library audiences, and seniors – wherever book lovers gather!
>> More Information About Connie Speaking and Presenting