Last month I attended the Berkshire WordFest at The Mount—Edith Wharton’s Lenox, Mass., estate. Wharton (1862-1937, originally from New York) was a premier author of the early twentieth century, writing twenty novels and many other books including collections of poetry and short stories and works on architecture and gardens.
An expert in architecture in her own right, she designed and built the sprawling mansion in 1902, but was forced to sell the property in 1911 when her husband’s health and their marriage deteriorated. She relocated to France, where she did much of her writing.
The Mount is said to be an “autobiographical house, ” reflecting the spirit of the author of such well known works as Ethan Frome, The Age of Innocence and House of Mirth. Wharton’s good friend and fellow writer Henry James said that “no one fully knows our Edith who hasn’t seen her in the act of creating a habitat for herself.” Perhaps you can catch a small glimpse of Edith Wharton’s spirit in these images taken during my visit.
In addition to the WordFest event, drawing writers and poets from the region, The Mount also hosts a biennial Coaching Weekend, featuring horse-drawn carriages to take you back to the Gilded Age; literary lectures throughout the year; and Friday night Ghost Tours, seeking out the spirits that may still linger on the grounds.
If you happen to be in the area, catch the next leg of our recent Northeast literary tour and stop by the Emily Dickinson Museum in Amherst, Mass. For more information on Edith Wharton and the estate, visit The Mount’s website.
Post and photos by LW Lindquist. Used with permission.
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L. L. Barkat says
Loving the intimacy of some of these shots. Really gives a sense of presence.
Thinking on that term “autobiographical house.” I want more on that. Are all our homes autobiographical? Or do some of us live someone else’s biography in how we organize our space?
Great pictures. 🙂
Maureen Doallas says
This is a place I’ve wanted to go to, though I think I’d prefer going at a time other than Halloween, when chilling run-ins with ghosts are said to occur.
The setting for the house is so beautiful.
I love your photos of the sheafs of writing paper and the one with the brass door-knob, offering such a tiny peek.
Have you also been to Hawthorne’s house?
Darrelyn Saloom says
Lemons! I love the lemons!! I love their shine and the pores and their yellow! This is like two great pieces in one – a story and a photo album.
(Fluffy, my border collie, caught a glimpse of the just right bed and is now lobbying for one of his own. If you’re going to keep posting how the other dogs lived I’m going to have to beware of DOS (Dog Over Shoulder) from now on or there will be no living with him!)
L. L. Barkat says
Donna, that is too funny 🙂
I guess I shouldn’t tell you that there was a lovely Depression glass container on the table, full of little doggie biscuits? Yes, right near the silver and the goblets.
DOS DOS! … turn… look… sigh… No wait… he’s asleep. That could have been ruff. 😉
Diana Trautwein says
Lovely. Thank you.