Reading List

For more information about the social and architectural history of the Newport Mansions, The Preservation Society of Newport County suggests the following readings. Please note that some of the books may be out of print, but many are available through your local library. Please consult your local librarian. Visit for more books on Newport and the Gilded Age.


Balsan, Consuelo Vanderbilt. The Glitter and The Gold. New York: Harper & Brothers Publishers, 1952. 

Bourget, Paul. Outre-Mer: Impressions of America. New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1895.

Croffut, William A. The Leisure Class in America, The Vanderbilts and the Story of Their Fortune.
New York: Arno Press, 1975.

Elliott, Maude Howe. This Was My Newport. Cambridge: The Mythology Company, 1944.

Patterson, Jerry. The Vanderbilts. New York: Harry Abrams Inc., 1989.

Patterson, Jerry E. The First Four Hundred: Mrs. Astor's New York in the Gilded Age. New York: 
Rizzoli International Publications Inc., 2000.

Vanderbilt, Cornelius, Jr. Queen of The Golden Age. England: George Mann of Maidstone, 1956.

Van Rensselaer, Mr. John King. Newport: Our Social Capital. New York: Arno Press, 1975.

Wector, Dixon. The Saga of American Society, A Record of Social Aspiration, 1607-1937. New York:
Charles Scribner's Sons, 1937.

Architecture, Design & the Decorative Arts

Ames, Winslow. "The Transformation of Chateau-sur-Mer." Journal of The Society of Architectural Historians, XXIX,

Baker, Paul. Richard Morris Hunt. Cambridge: 1980.

Carpenter, Ralph. The Arts and Crafts of Newport, 1640-1820. Newport: The Preservation Society of
Newport County, 1954.

Craven, Wayne. Gilded Mansions: Grand Architecture and High Society. New York: W.W. Norton and Company, 2009.

Downing, Andrew Jackson. The Architecture of Country Houses. New York: Dover Publications, 1969.

Downing, Antoinette F. and Vincent J. Scully Jr. The Architectural Heritage of Newport, RI, 1640-1915.
Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1952.

Girouard, Mark. Sweetness and Light: The Queen Anne Movement 1860-1900. Oxford: The Clarendon Press, 1977.

Heckscher, Morrison. John Townsend: Newport Cabinetmaker. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 2005.

Jordy, William and Christopher P. Monkhouse. Buildings on Paper, Rhode Island Architectural 
Drawings, 1825-1945. Providence: Brown University, Rhode Island Historical Society and Rhode Island
School of Design, 1982.

McAlester, Virginia and Lee McAlester. Field Guide to American Houses. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1984.

Metcalf, Pauline C. Ogden Codman and the Decoration of Houses. Boston: The Boston Athenaeum, 1988.

Moses, Michael. Master Craftsmen of Newport: The Townsends and Goddards. Tenafly, NJ:
MMI Americana Press, 1984.

"Newport: The Collections of The Preservation Society of Newport County, in Newport, Rhode Island." 
The Magazine Antiques. (April 1995).

Ossman, Laurie, and Heather Ewing. Carrère and Hastings: The Masterworks. New York: Rizzoli, 2011.

Phelps, Harriet Jackson. Newport in Flower. Newport: The Preservation Society of Newport County, 1979.

Pierson, William Jr. Technology and the Picturesque: The Corporate and Early Gothic Styles.
Garden City, NY: Anchor Books Doubleday, 1976.

Roth, Leland. McKim, Mead and White, Architects. New York: Harper and Row, 1983.

Scully, Vincent J. The Shingle Style and the Stick Style. Rev.ed., New Haven: Yale University Press, 1971.

Stein, Susan R., ed. The Architecture of Richard Morris Hunt. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1986.

Wharton, Edith and Ogden Codman. The Decoration of Houses. New York: W. W. Norton & Co., 1978.

White, Lawrence Grant. Sketches and Designs of Stanford White. New York: The Architectural Publishing Co., 1920.

Wilson, Richard Guy, Pilgrim, Diane H. and Murray, Richard N. The American Renaissance, 1876-1917.
New York: Pantheon Books, 1979.

Wilson, Richard Guy. McKim, Mead and White, Architects. New York: Rizzoli International Publications, Inc., 1983.

Yarnall, James. Newport Through Its Architecture: A History of Styles from Postmedieval to Postmodern.
Newport: Salve Regina University Press, 2005.

Domestic Service

Dudden, Faye E. Serving Women: Household Service in Nineteenth-Century America. Hanover, NH: Wesleyan
University Press, 1983.

Katzman, David. Seven Days a Week: Women and Domestic Service in Industrializing America. New York: Oxford University Press, 1978.

Kessler-Harris, Alice. Out to Work: A History of Wage-Earning Women in the United States. New York: Oxford
University Press, 1982.

O'Leary, Elizabeth L. From Morning to Night: Domestic Service in Maymont House and the Gilded Age South.
University Press of Virginia, 2003.

Palmer, Phyllis. Domesticity and Dirt: Housewives and Domestic Servants in the United States, 1920-1945.
Philadelphia: Temple University Press, 1989.

Strasser, Susan. Never Done: A History of American Housework. New York: Pantheon Books, 1982.


Preservation Resources

Barthel, Diane. Historic Preservation, Rutgers University Press, 1996.

Brand, Stuart. How Buildings Learn, Penguin Books, 1994.

Hoadley, R. Bruce. Identifying Wood, Taunton Press, 1990.

Lindgren, James M. Preserving Historic New England, Oxford University Press, 1995.

Millar, William. Plastering: Plain and Decorative, B.T. Batsford, 1897; reprinted, Donhead Publishing, Ltd., 2001.

Nylander, Jane. Windows on the Past, Little, Brown & Co., 2000.

Nash, George. Restoring Old Houses, Taunton Press, 1998.

Whelehel, Harriet, ed. Caring for your Historic House, Harry Abrams, Inc., 1998.