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Episode 5, “Charity Has Two Functions”

Bertha, Marian, Aurora, and Peggy make an overnight trip to see Clara Barton speak. Gladys’ desired beau is invited to dinner.

In this Episode…

Many rooms that depict the second floor at the Russells’ mansion, shown in the first scene and later, are from the second floor of The Elms.

Gladys’s bedroom is the real-life Mrs. Berwind’s bedroom in The Elms.

The Elms kitchen is featured many times again.

Social arbiter Ward McAllister (1827-1895) makes his debut.

While Mr. McAllister arrives to a luncheon “fashionably late,” this concept was an established tradition stemming from English culture and reserved for people of society who wished to make an entrance at social gatherings.

Nathan Lane as Ward McAllister. Photograph by Alison Cohen Rosa/HBO

Lunch with McAllister: Finger bowls are seen on the table; these would be filled with water and diners would dip the tips of their fingers in at the end of a meal as some dishes required the use of one’s hand.

The Eisenhower house at Fort Adams State Park in Newport is featured when several characters visit American Red Cross founder Clara Barton’s event in Dansville, N.Y.

Newport’s Clarke Street and the Artillery Company of Newport armory building are featured as the Dansville, N.Y., street where Ms. Barton’s rally is held.

The interior of Newport’s Colony House appears as a Red Cross location where patients are being treated.

There are mentions of Bertha Russell perhaps taking on the cause of women’s right to vote – a hint that she might follow in Alva Vanderbilt’s path? Alva, after she became Alva Belmont, was a prominent leader of the suffrage movement from the beginning of the 1900s until her death in 1933.

Alva Vanderbilt Belmont and her daughter, Consuelo, at a suffrage rally at Marble House.

Ward McAllister and Mrs. Astor were the king and queen of Newport society as well as New York’s.

Mention is made of the Panama Canal as a great and modern wonder. It truly was an incredible feat of engineering but also a dangerous project that left hundreds dead. Construction began in the 1880s but was not completed until 1914.

Donna Murphy as Caroline Schermerhorn Astor. Photograph by Alison Cohen Rosa/HBO
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