From Uptown Girls to Downton Abbey

How American Gilded-Age Heiresses Invaded the British Aristocracy
As we anxiously await the release of Downton Abbey: A New Era in May, join us for a cup of tea, trivia, and biscuits with our featured speaker via Zoom. Long before the British Invasion, the cash-strapped lords, viscounts, and dukes of Great Britain shifted their focus from hunting foxes and pheasants to more lucrative targets: cash-flush Gilded Age American socialites who were willing to trade their family's money for an ancient title and often a chilly reception in the British aristocracy. Join Anglophile and former U.K. resident Claire Evans as she recounts the tales of some famously loaded young Americans who infused bank accounts of many stately homes, including close relatives of Winston Churchill and Princess Diana. She'll also give travel tips if you'd like to create a Gilded Age tour for yourself.

Claire Evans is a former journalist, attorney, and college lecturer who started her love of most things British as she and her mother watched countless episodes of Are You Being Served, Fawlty Towers, and The Vicar of Dibley on PBS.  She went on to study abroad in London and, against the odds, she married a Brit she met in Peoria, Illinois.  They moved to England, where they lived for a number of years.  Outside her work for a legal advice charity, Claire became a student of historical sights, pub dining, and tea shops.  Her business, Tea with Claire, grew from friends asking for travel and relocation advice.

Registration is required and limited to 50 participants for the in-person viewing of the Zoom presentation at the library. Please use the REGISTER button below for in-person.

We will also offer an option to view the Zoom presentation from your home. To register to view from home, go to

Wednesday May 18, 2022
6:30 PM
Multi-Purpose Room, 1st floor
There are 17 spaces available.