Edith Wharton was an American writer and designer. She was born in New York City on January 24, 1862. Growing up during the Gilded Age in New York City, Edith used her personal knowledge for the inspiration of her novels. In 1921 she became the first woman to win the Pulitzer Prize for her novel The Age of Innocence. Edith wrote many incredible novels during her lifetime, including The House of Mirth, and Ethan Frome. In 1993 Ethan Frome was turned into a movie starring Liam Neeson. In 1996 Edith National Women's Hall of Fame. Keep reading to hear more about Edith Wharton, and why the Edith Wharton House is so popular still to this day.
When Edith was 23 years old, she married Edward Wharton at the Trinity Chapel Complex in Manhattan. Edward was from a well-established family in Boston, and the two bonded over their love of travel. They lived in a cottage in Newport after they were married, and in 1893 they bought a house named Land's End, also in Newport. A few years later in 1897 Edith and Edward returned to her NYC lifestyle, and purchased a Park Avenue home. They spent the next few years traveling the world.
Mental illness ran in Edward's family, and he himself developed depression in the late 1890s. It had been so debilitating that the couple moved into their new home, The Mount , in Lenox, MA. In 1908 Edward's mental state was so grave that it was determined to be incurable. The marriage had been strained for some time, especially after Edith found out that Edward had been stealing from her to support a mistress of his. It was at this time that Edith started an affair with journalist Morton Fullerton, and divorced Edward in 1913. After the divorce, Edward moved in with his mother, and later died in 1928.
Credit: Google Earth
On June 1, 1937 while Edith was at her French home in the countryside, she suffered a heart attack. Just over a month later, on August 11, 1937 she passed away from a stroke at 5:30 p.m. She was buried in the American Protestant section of the Cimetière des Gonards in Versailles.
Edith Wharton's house, also known as The Mount, was designed by Edith herself. She used ideas from her first book, The Decoration of Houses, when thinking about designs for the house. The Mount is located in Lenox, MA, and Edith and her husband Edward lived in the house from 1902 until 1911. When the couple moved out, the house became the girls' dormitory for the Foxhollow School. As well as the Shakespeare & Company theatre. Once the property was purchased by the Edith Wharton Restoration, the home was restored to its original condition. In 1971, the home was declared a National Historic Landmark, and today runs as a museum.
The grounds consist of more than 115 acres of land. The gardens house the museum, as well as an Italian walled garden, a rock garden, a flower garden, lime walks, and multiple grass terraces. The main house, The Mount, is three stories on the west, where the garden side has two stores and leads out to the large stone terrace. The exterior consists of crisp white stucco and dark green shutters. The home is a Georgian Revival, while the kitchen garden was designed by Edith's niece and landscape gardener, Beatrix Jones Farrand. Speaking of Beatrix, she was the only woman out of the eleven founders of the American Society of Landscape Architects.
I love women in history that were ahead of their time, and paved the way. If you enjoyed reading about Edith Wharton, and seeing her house, take a look at another historical New England house, the John Proctor House, here.
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Meet Julie, the creative Head of Content at Urban Splatter. Since her move from the East Coast to Los Angeles in 2017, she's been bringing the world of celebrity real estate to life through her engaging articles. Julie has honed her passion for storytelling into a thriving full-time career, producing innovative content ideas and contributing to multiple websites. With a self-published book and several novels to her name, she's continuously expanding her horizons in the freelance writing sphere.
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