Posts Tagged ‘Edith Wharton’

Mill’s Mansion

We take TWO tours of this site – we never do that.  Why?  We knew that there was a “Titanic Tour” at 3 PM – but since we were told that every tour covered that aspect of the house, we went on the 2:00 tour.  Our guide  was very informative and  responsive to questions, but suggested we tag along on the Titanic Tour that was just starting as we finished his tour, to learn more.  So, we toured the whole house again. It’s always a different  tour, with a new docent, so  we do learn more about the Gilded Age, and the owners of this mansion, who had tickets for an upcoming voyage on the Titanic, and how many of the rooms here resemble what the Titanic tried to emulate for their moneyed passengers.  I was curious about  the Edith Wharton connection, after reading that this mansion was a model for an estate in House of Mirth.  True or not, I was interested in how this site offered a glimpse into the world she lived in and wrote about. And what an amazing world/house it is!  During the tour, we learn that her aunt had a mansion nearby, that has fallen into ruin. There’s no map or guide to it, but we decide to be detectives and after about an hour of wandering, searching on my iPhone for articles about Wyndclyffe, we finally take a fortuitous turn and drive right by the ruins. So much for keeping up with the Joneses. (We have learned that phrase originated with this family. )

Ruins of Wyndclyffe, Edith Wharton’s Aunt’s Home

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St. Ann’s Church, Lenox

We start the day with Mass at beautiful St. Ann’s Church in Lenox. No, I didn’t take this photo during any of that – but swiped from their generous web-site. I did want to remember the ceiling and angels, dimly seen here.

Next, we head to The Mount, Edith Wharton’s home.  She designed it, and decorated it and created all the gardens. In addition, it takes my breath away to think that she was the first woman to win the Pulitzer Prize, the first woman to receive an honorary degree from Yale, and the first woman elevated to full membership in the American Academy of Arts and Letters.  She wrote 40 books in 40 years!

Edith Wharton’s Bedroom, where most of her writing took place

Edith Wharton’s Library, with many of her books



















Dining Room, with place set for Henry James

View from the Mount


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