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During the so-called Gilded Age of the late 19th century there developed a national fascination with the wealth and leisurely lifestyle of Old Virginia. The rural antebellum society was remembered as having been a pinnacle of aristocratic social life in America.
Much was made by commentators of holiday festivities, which were traditionally the grandest of the year. This image, which appeared in an English newspaper, demonstrates the international reputation gained by Virginians for their tradition of hospitality.
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