Skip to content Skip to navigation

Larz and Isabel Anderson: Wealth and Celebrity in the Gilded Age

Thursday, February 16, 2017 - 12:00pm to 1:00pm
Registration is NOT required
Free and open to the public

Larz and Isabel Anderson: Wealth and Celebrity in the Gilded Age

Stephen T. Moskey

Until recently, history remembered Isabel Weld Perkins Anderson (1876-1948) as the wife of wealthy Bostonian Larz Kilgour Anderson (1866-1937). Their Brookline estate is now Larz Anderson Park. However, the public perception of Mrs. Anderson as an heiress and socialite was shattered in April 2016 with the publication of Stephen Moskey’s Larz and Isabel Anderson: Wealth and Celebrity in the Gilded Age, a new account of the couple’s extraordinary lives. Based on research conducted in libraries and archives across the US and Europe (including the Boston Athenæum), Moskey’s work has transformed Mrs. Anderson’s legacy and public image. We now know her for what she was: a prolific writer and editor of over 40 titles; a librettist and impresario of popular musicals performed during the Great Depression; and a courageous nurse serving on the battlefields of France and Belgium during WWI. Mrs. Anderson emerges from the pages of this book as an exemplary woman of the early modern era whose deeds anticipated a new role for women in culture and society.

Art historian Isabel Taube calls the book “corrective to existing perceptions of Gilded Age women like Isabel Anderson.” Moskey’s lecture will focus on Mrs. Anderson’s literary and theatrical accomplishments, with a special focus on her wartime memoir Zigzagging (1918).

Stephen T. Moskey researches and writes about American cultural history. A graduate of Georgetown University, where he earned a PhD in linguistics and modern European languages, he is a member of the Historical Society of Washington, the Victorian Society of America, and the Latrobe Chapter of the Society of Architectural Historians. In 2013, he co-authored The Turkish Ambassador’s Residence and the Cultural History of Washington, DC. A native of West Hartford, Connecticut, he lives in the nation’s capital four blocks from Anderson House, the former residence of Larz and Isabel Anderson.

Explore the literary and theatrical works of Isabel Anderson in the circulating and special collections: Captain Ginger Aboard the Gee Whiz (1911), Little Madcap’s Journey: A Fairy Extravaganza (1931) with music by Julia Ward Howe, Freedom, a Play in Two Acts and Five Scenes (1933), and her memoir Zigzagging (1918).

Assistive Listening Devices image

Auto-generated captions are available for most virtual programs. To request live captioning or other accommodations, please contact Hannah Weisman at weisman@bostonathenaeum.org or 617-720-7617 at least four business days prior to the event.