The American Gilded Age was a period of great economic change and of huge fortunes made and lost. Against this backdrop, a young woman becomes enmeshed in the great conflict between old and new money in New York high society during the late 19th Century.
A young Marian Brook moves from rural Pennsylvania to New York after the death of her father to live with her “old money” aunts Agnes van Rhijn and Ada Brook and quickly becomes entangled in the social war between her aunts and their stupendously rich neighbours.
After the death of her father, Marian Brook travels to New York to live with her aristocratic aunts. Meanwhile, determined to break into society, ruthless tycoon George Russell and his ambitious wife Bertha move their family into a lavish mansion across the street.
Tom Raikes' visit to New York delights Marian but worries aunt Agnes. An increasingly desperate Peggy seeks legal advice from Mr. Raikes. Oscar van Rhijn homes in on young Gladys Russell. A charity bazaar becomes the source of a dramatic stand after Bertha is slighted.
An unfortunate development finds George's new rail station under threat. Despite Agnes' warnings, Marian continues to see Mr. Raikes. Peggy learns that a publisher is interested in her stories. At a talk given by Clara Barton, Ada reunites with a childhood friend.
In the aftermath of a tragedy, George makes a deal to help Bertha. Peggy gets an assignment from publisher T. Thomas Fortune, but a dinner with her parents ends on a sour note. Marian learns more about the mysterious Mrs. Chamberlain.
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Bertha, Marian, Aurora and Peggy make an overnight trip to see Clara Barton speak. Gladys' desired beau is invited to dinner.
Mr. McAllister's visit to the Russells shakes the aunts' household. George aims to control the narrative. Marian considers her feelings.
As a historic moment captures the city, Agnes vows to protect her family's reputation, while Larry's career plans rub George the wrong way.
Peggy reveals the truth about her past, while George's day in court arrives, and Marian considers her romantic future.
Marian's grand plan is threatened. Bertha and Mrs. Astor lock horns over Glady's debut. Peggy is stunned by a major reveal.