Maureen Montgomery presents inaugural McGinty Lecture on Oct. 30 at Casino Theatre

Dr. Maureen Montgomery, Salve Regina’s first McGinty Distinguished Chair in History, is presenting the inaugural McGinty Lecture, “From Ochre Court to Downton Abbey: Trans-Atlantic Marriages and the British Peerage.”

The talk, free and open to the public, will be presented on Thursday, Oct. 30 at 7 p.m. at the Casino Theatre, 9 Freebody St. Those interested in attending are asked to RSVP to mariann.maida@salve.edu.

Montgomery will revisit her original study of transatlantic marriages and the British peerage (first published in 1989) juxtaposed in the light of the current fascination with Julian Fellowes’ “Downton Abbey.” She will bring the story to Newport through the connection of May Goelet, daughter of the owner of Ochre Court, and her aunt Belle Wilson, both of whom married into the British peerage.

Established in honor of the late John E. McGinty, former trustee and parent of John W. McGinty ’01, the McGinty Chair furthers the educational advancement of undergraduate students in the areas of American studies, cultural and historic preservation and history. Montgomery has been selected as the first chair holder following a nationwide search, and will serve through the 2014-2015 academic year.

“We are delighted that Salve enticed such a distinguished scholar from halfway around the world; Professor Montgomery strengthens the university’s expertise in 19th century America and adds a refreshing international point of view,” said Sarah “Sally” McGinty, Mr. McGinty’s wife of 40 years prior to his passing in October 2011.

“Thanks to the generosity of the McGinty family, we were able to establish a program of visiting professorships through the John E. McGinty Chair in History,” said Michael Semenza, vice president for University Relations and Advancement. “Bringing in distinguished scholars like Maureen Montgomery will significantly enrich academic life at Salve Regina.”

Montgomery, a longtime professor at the University of Canterbury in New Zealand, has taught and served in a variety of positions there over the last 28 years. She has been program coordinator for American Studies, Gender Studies and Feminist Studies, as well has head of the School of Culture, Literature and Society and Head of the Department of American Studies.

She has published three books, including “Gilded Prostitution: Status, Money and Transatlantic Marriages, 1870-1914,” based on her doctoral dissertation at University of East Anglia in the United Kingdom, and “Displaying Women: Spectacles of Leisure in Edith Wharton’s New York,” the winner of a New York Society Library Award.

The author of numerous articles, chapters and papers on American studies, Montgomery has lectured extensively at universities in the U.K. and the U.S. A specialist in the Gilded Age, she was drawn to Salve Regina and Newport by its rich history during that era.