Talk – Forgotten Trailblazing Woman of Lenox’s Gilded Age

February 5, 2022 @ 3:30 pm
$20 per person

Local historian and author Cornelia Brooke Gilder return to the mansion to tell the story of Constance Cary Harrison, theatrical producer and best-selling author in Lenox’s Gilded Age, here at the mansion on Saturday, February 5 at 3:30 pm. The lecture is also available to attend on Zoom.

Constance Harrison’s story is unique and worthy of an Edith Wharton plot. In the late 1860s, penniless but well-connected, she came to New York from Richmond Virginia after her husband’s release from solitary confinement in a military prison. Together they reinvented their lives, and she became one of the most popular novelists of her day (a decade before Edith Wharton’s rise to success.) From their rented summer house on the Old Stockbridge Road in Lenox, Harrison staged plays at the Lenox Library and incorporated Berkshire scenes in her scores of effervescent short stories and novels.

Gilder has co-authored with Richard S. Jackson, Jr., Houses of the Berkshires, 1870 – 1930, named an honor book by Historic New England; authored Edith Wharton’s Lenox; co-authored with Julia Conklin Peters Hawthorne’s Lenox: The Tanglewood Circle, and with Joan Olshansky A History of Ventfort Hall.  Gilder also contributed to the exhibition A Walk in the Country: George Inness and the Berkshires on view at the Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute.

Tickets to attend are $20 per person. To attend at Ventfort Hall reservations are required by calling 413-637-3206. To attend via Zoom, visit to purchase your ticket. Please note that all tickets are nonrefundable and non-exchangeable. Payment is required to make a reservation for an event.  Proof of vaccination, ID and masks are required.