October 24th 5-7PM Explore Historic Belcourt Castle after partaking in hors d’oeuvres, wine and a discussion with Therese Anne Fowler, as she shares her experience writing “A Well Behaved Woman: A Novel of the Vanderbilts”. Hosted by Reading with Robin through a Belcourt Speaks Series. VIP seating $115 and general seating for $85 are still available, but moving quickly. Complimentary gifts included!  ** Purchase your tickets at Belcourt.com and use code October **

Read the Transcript

Welcome to Newport Living and Lifestyles.

I am Christon and I am here with

historic documentary filmmaker David Bettencourt.

We are here to talk to you about a very exclusive event

being held here at Belcourt Newport.

It is hosted by Reading with Robin.

It is called Belcourt Speaks.

It is all about A Well Behaved Woman

a novel of the Vanderbilts.

Written by Therese Anne Fowler

October 24th 5 – 7PM

How can people purchase tickets?

You can get more information on our website


This is an event we are really proud to have at Belcourt.

It is sponsored by Alex and Ani, Bar and Board Bistro and

Carolyn’s Sakonnet Vineyards.

General admission tickets are $85 and $115 for VIP tickets

Where you get a Sakonnet tasting for 4 and a bottle of wine

hors d’oeuvres & wine.

An Alex and Ani set of 3 bangles,

Reserved seating and a copy of “A Well Behaved Woman,”

It is a really great event

where you get to learn more about how Theresa wrote this historical fictional novel

about the two figures who actually lived here

from 1896 to 1908.

Oliver is the reason why this building is even here.

He built it in 1891.

This is going to be a really interesting event. I am excited to host!

It is going to be gorgeous. Let’s go inside and take a look

at where the event is going to be happen inside.

So this is Alva Vanderbilt’s bedroom.

Who is this, with this fabulous hair?

This is the current owner of the house.

Carolyn Rafaelian.

Visionary. Entrpreneur. Philanthropist

The people who did the work in this room, the plaster work,

actually made that sculpture for her as a thank you

for allowing them to do the work in this room.

This room was extensively restored by Carolyn.

There was lots of damage to it through out the entire room.

This room is important for the night of our event because

Alva would have slept in this room.

In 1896 she married Oliver Hazard Perry Belmont.

She quickly realized this one bedroom, 44,000 square foot apartment

needed a woman’s touch.

So she built this bedroom for herself.

It also has a sunken boudoir and bathroom,

which is actually hidden by a secret door.

Which I’ll show you in a second.

Visitors for this event on the 24th, should make sure to absolutely stop in this room,

because this is where Alva, the heroin of this book, would have spent most of her time at Belcourt.

Let’s check out the boudoir.

Oh! It is big and beautiful!

What room are we in right now? It is gorgeous.

We are on the second floor and this is where Oliver had his first party

here in September of 1895

This is where they would entertain.

There is a place for musicians above us.

There is an organ at the far end of the room.

The fireplace would have been lit.

The stained glass is 15th century.

This is where most of the events would have taken place at Belcourt.

Originally, the first floor, the entire first floor was for his horses.

His bedroom is right through that door.

This was really the main living area for Oliver.

When Alva moved in, they lived here together.

And when I say lived here, they only lived here for the summer.

Like 5 or 6 weeks out of the summer every year.

She built herself that bedroom that you just saw.

Then they began to change the downstairs, the coach house,

into a banquet hall where they could have more events.

Then Alva started to really entertain lavishly here at Belcourt.

Well, I can tell ya. I had a couple dance moves right here in this very room.

I went to a couple of events here…

This has a very Church-esque feel to it.

It really does, it is a beautiful space and its been meticulously restored.

Thoroughly cleaned, all the plaster work was redone, the stained glass was taken out and cleaned and refurbished and put back.

We have even brought back some of the armor collection.

The previous owners of the house were a family called the Tinney’s.

They had an armor collection and Oliver Belmont had a really beautiful armor collection back in the day in the 1890’s.

So we brought back some of the Tinney armor collection

so that it is similar to what Oliver would have seen in this room originally.

Let’s go check out the bedroom.

Oliver’s room.

O wow.

So this here is how Oliver lived his life.

This was his favorite saying, sans crainte, which means without fear.

And that is really how he lived his life.

He was a very interesting man,

He was kind of a playboy.

He was really into fashion.

A bon vivant…

He was an interesting guy

Alva always says she married first for money

and then married second for love.

I think they were really in love with each other.

For 12 years they summered here and they built things and

they entertained their friends and they had a really good time.

That is what Newport is about right?

It is really is! I think it is a really cool place to explore and

we are really looking forward to the event on the 24th.

This is where the event is going to take place.

This is gorgeous.

This is the coach house of Belcourt originally.

And originally it was a place for Oliver to keep all of his carriages and coaches.

He had kind of like the Ferrari’s and Lamborghini’s of his time.

The best, state of the art, most modern coaches and carriages and he kept them in this room.

The entire first floor of Belcourt is actually devoted to his horses and to his racing and to his carriages.

After Alva and Oliver married in 1896 she started to realize that this was kind of a room that she could use for other things.

Such as big elaborate parties.

Ballroom Dancing…

And it became a ballroom, which is what it is today.

The event will take place in this room.

It is probably the most majestic room that we have for events here in Belcourt.

I love the mosaic tiles. Where is this tile in from?

The floor is amazing

As I told you, it was originally for his garage, essentially.

He had Italian artisans put in this Italian marble mosaic floor.

It is just amazing

Tell us about a state of the art coach? What does that include?

In 1897 he brought a motor coach here, which would have been the first automobile in America.

And the first automobile parade in America took place in 1899 on the grounds of Belcourt.

They drove cars up Bellevue and ended with an obstacle course

and a contest for who could decorate their car the coolest.

Oh That’s fun!

And Alva led the way! It was Alva’s idea and Oliver played along and they all had these cars on the front lawn.

It was not long before his coaches got out of Belcourt and this became a place for them to entertain.

It really showed Newport and all of society at the time who Oliver and Alva were all about.

So even though you get a book here for the event.

You can still go online and purchase one and read up on it, so you are prepared with questions.

Yes , you can. You can even get an audible on audible.com You can listen to it being read

That is what I do!

Therese Anne Fowler’s book, A Well Behaved Woman is in book stores now.

To come to the event it is $85, $115 for VIP

All tickets include a copy of the book and you will be able to

hear how Therese wrote this fictional historical novel.

It is going to be a really fun time. There is food and wine.

Can’t beat that.

Can’t beat that. Hope you all come down to Belcourt.

Thanks so much for telling us all about this event and

We look forward to seeing you on Newport Living and Lifestyles!