Marcia Strykowski

Edith’s Beautiful Home

edith 8It’s time for a peek into another long-ago famous author’s amazing home. Influential writer Edith Wharton (1862-1937) designed and built ‘The Mount’ in lovely Lenox, Massachusetts, beginning in 1902.
Edith Wharton's houseWhile living on this 100+ acre estate she wrote some of her most beloved works, including “The House of Mirth” and “Ethan Frome.”
edith 3edith 4Although she was pretty much self-educated, Edith still managed to win the Pulitzer Prize for “The Age of Innocence.” Significant to note, she was the first woman to be honored with this prize.
edith 1 Inside The Mount, her dining room table is set with name placards of a typical dinner party, including a place for her friend Mr. Henry James to her left.
edith 5Edith_WhartonThe posed picture, at right, shows Edith at her writing desk, but she actually did all of her writing in bed. In this room, original handwritten pages of her work are laid out for visitors to see. DSC00278 - CopyPortraits of her father and brothers hang over the headboard. She produced over 40 books in 40 years, including novels, short stories, poetry, and well-regarded works on travel, architecture, garden, and interior design. Only nine of those years were spent at this location. The outside grounds of The Mount are absolutely gorgeous. Edith considered her skill in gardening to be greater than her ability to write.
edith 6
I am amazed at the success of my efforts. Decidedly, I’m a better landscape gardener than novelist, and this place, every line of which is my own work, far surpasses The House of Mirth. . . “edith 7“There are two ways of spreading light: to be the candle or the mirror that reflects it.”–Edith Wharton

edith 2For previous posts on author homes, please see Mark Twain and The Concord Authors.

Can you imagine living in such beautiful surroundings ’round the clock? I’m sure we’d all create great works if we did :), but meanwhile check out some of the ongoing events (including ghost tours) held at The Mount and thanks for joining me for another author house stop!

34 Comments

  1. Beautiful gardens! Thanks for sharing.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Michele

    I love that you share these tours of author homes. They are beautiful, and places we may not get to see on our own.

    Like

  3. I had always wanted to visit there when we lived in New England. Thanks for this great mini “tour”. 🙂

    Like

  4. It is very beautiful. Visited years ago but remember the beauty.

    Like

    • I’m happy you got to see this beautiful place. Thanks for your comment, Joyce!

      Like

  5. Louise

    I visited once and loved the building and grounds. I agree; the gardens are better than Wharton’s books! I’d love to go to one of the petite dejuniers on a Wed.!

    Like

  6. Wow, I would love to visit!

    Like

  7. Wow! I don’t think I’d be writing in bed with a place like this. I’d love to visit this beautiful home. Thanks for sharing.

    Like

    • I know! Her desk set-up looks very inviting or even writing in the garden would do. Thanks, Greg!

      Like

  8. Thanks for the “peek,” Marcia. Wow! This is some home. And I love knowing she did most of her writing in bed.

    Like

    • Can you imagine designing and landscaping this entire estate all the while writing bestsellers? A busy woman!

      Like

  9. What a gorgeous place! Thanks for sharing your visit. LOVE the place setting. 🙂

    Like

    • Edith frequently hosted small dinner parties. Oh, to be a fly on the wall!

      Like

  10. Definitely so amazing! The house and gardens. I’ve never read anything of hers, but I want to now. =)

    Like

    • Although I didn’t read it until after high school, apparently Ethan Frome is required reading in many schools. I think many of today’s readers like House of Mirth best.

      Like

  11. Bette Norton

    I too have visited Edith Wharton’s beautiful Mount in Lenox! Her grounds were beautifully landscaped and her home was amazing! It always puzzled me that she did all of her writing in bed before she even got up for the day. Edith would write for a number of hours in her bed, throwing her papers all over the bed and floor, for her assistant to gather and type. I can think of so many more comfortable places to write! 🙂 Edith spent most of the year living in her apartment in France. She did enjoy the Mount for a number of years during the summer.. She finally sold the Mount and spent her final days in France. Edith Wharton was a very accomplished woman in many areas of life. Your post brought back great memories of the Mount. I hope to visit it again someday! I enjoy your posts on famous authors and their homesteads.

    Like

    • Yes, she loved France. Thank you for sharing your knowledge of The Mount, Bette!

      Like

  12. I’m in love! What a beautiful place thanks so much for sharing the photographs. Maybe one day I will be lucky enough to visit.

    Like

  13. What a GORGEOUS home! I would love to see it. Last summer I got to see the fabulous “cottages” in Newport, RI, owned by the Vanderbilts. It’s incredible how much money people had then!

    Like

    • The Newport cottages are amazing and yes, SO much money was put into them. Edith’s home is a little more personal and low-key, but just as beautifully designed. Thanks for stopping by, Julie!

      Like

  14. joaneylesjohnson

    Thank you for the beautiful photos and comments on my favorite author. I love Edith Wharton’s works, each novel and short story.

    Like

    • You’re welcome, Joan! Great to hear from a true Edith Wharton fan. 🙂

      Like

  15. Ashley

    This is so awesome. I wish I lived close enough to visit her house!!

    Like

  16. mirkabreen

    Aside from Mark Twain’s home, this may be my favorite. Maybe because it fits to a T how I would imagine her home from her writings. The Library is the sort of space I’ve only seen in movies.

    Like

    • Her library is quite magnificent and a good place for gatherings. I think I prefer a cozier, more private library.

      Like

  17. Beautiful pictures! Thank you.

    Like

Please leave a comment--I'd love to hear from you!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: