The membership categories are closely tied to Austen's life. During the 1880s and 1890s Austen, along with four close female friends, formed an almost exclusive quartet. The young women spent so much time together that disgruntled suitors referred to them as “The Darned Club,” a name the friends delightedly adopted. The “Larky Life” refers to Austen's social philosophy, a life of carefree sprees, pranks, masquerades, and musical evenings. Cornelius Vanderbilt, better known as the Commodore, was of course one of the wealthiest entrepreneurs of his time.
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