How well do you really know one of America’s greatest writers? You might be a big fan, but after you take this short quiz, we can almost guarantee you’ll walk away with an interesting tidbit or two!
(Lenox, MA)-To strengthen its ties to the local community and to enhance its educational programming, The Mount-Edith Wharton’s home in Lenox, Mass.-has expanded its student writing programs for the 2014 season. In addition to the annual Edith Wharton Writing Competition, which invites fiction and poetry submissions from high school students, The Mount will offer a four-week workshop on e-book publishing for young writers from April 5 through April 26.
Led by local writer Nik Davies, the “What’s Your Story? Steps to Self-Publication for Young Authors” workshop will be held at The Mount on four consecutive Saturday mornings in April from 10:30 to 12:30 am: April 5, April 12, April 19, and April 26. Instruction will focus on how to create e-books, a growing trend in juvenile literature. Topics will include editing, copywriting, jacket copy/book description, ISBN numbering, design/ cover art, formatting, and uploading. Tuition is $120 per student. Financial assistance is available. Students can register online atEdithWharton.org.
The annual Edith Wharton Writing Competition, which includes fiction and poetry categories, will run through early March. All entries must be postmarked by March 5, 2014. Winners, who will be announced in April, will be invited with their families and teachers to an awards ceremony on Sunday, April 27. For competition guidelines and entry requirements, visit The Mount’s website, EdithWharton.org, or call 413-551-5110 for more information. Relaunched in 2010, the Edith Wharton Writing Competition last year drew over 123 entries from high school students across the region.
The Mount is located at 2 Plunkett Street in Lenox, MA. For more information about these and other programs, visit EdithWharton.org.
About The Mount:
The Mount is a National Historic Landmark and cultural center that celebrates the intellectual, artistic, and humanitarian legacy of Edith Wharton. We engage a diverse audience by providing context to Wharton’s life and achievements through our educational and public programs and the conservation and preservation of her historic estate and gardens.
Each year, The Mount is host to over 40,000 visitors. Daily tours of the property are offered May through October, with special events throughout the year. Annual summer programming includes a joint exhibit with SculptureNow, Wharton on Wednesdays, Music After Hours, WordFest at The Mount, and the celebrated Monday Lecture Series. Exhibitions explore themes from Wharton’s life and work.
The Mount is located at 2 Plunkett Street in Lenox, MA. For additional information about The Mount, visit EdithWharton.org.
Now in its 22nd year, The Mount’s widely acclaimed summer Lecture Series draws devoted attendees from far and wide. From the moment the speaker line-up is announced in the spring, the demand for tickets explodes—and they sell out fast. We’re not exaggerating: it’s one of the hottest programs in New England! It’s like a long-awaited rock concert for intellectuals.
There’s only one way to ensure you get a shot at limited tickets, and that’s to become a member of The Mount. Advance tickets go on sale to Mount members in early May. You’ll get a secret code and everything, so you can buy tickets online or by phone–whichever way you prefer.
Past Lecture Series programs have featured such literary luminaries as Tom Reiss, Susan Orlean, Kati Marton, Michael Korda, Stacy Schiff, Alexandra Styron, Robert Massie, Michael Gorra, Gail Collins, Judith Thurman, John Matteson, Lily Koppel, and so many others who have shared enthralling stories of some of history’s most colorful characters.
We can’t tell you yet who’s coming this summer–that’s still a secret–but we can tell you this year’s series is going to be fabulous! Don’t miss your chance to be a part of it.
- You and your guests have exclusive use of the gorgeous 49-acre property for the entire evening.
- Ross Jolly and Grace Leathrum, our wedding specialists, are hands-on throughout the entire planning process.
- We can introduce you to some of the best caterers and wedding photographers in New England.
- By renting the property, you’ll be supporting a National Historic Landmark and its public programming.
- You also have access to The Mount’s historic (1902) Stables for rehearsal dinners and after-parties.
- You can bring your dog. Edith would be happy to have him.
- There will be a docent on site during your wedding to give you and your guests a tour of the home and exhibits.
- Whether you’re under the stonework pergola, next to the French flower garden, or lounging on a chaise in Edith Wharton’s boudoir, there are no shortage of beautiful photo opportunities.
- The Mount bookstore can provide you with something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue.
- We have three acres of formal gardens with exquisite, brightly colored flowers for use as your wedding backdrop.
We’re booking now for the 2015 season, but the weekends are going fast. To discuss your wedding possibilities, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call Ross Jolly now at 413-551-5120.
The winter blues have captured the imaginations of at least two curators in New England in the last year, inviting a fresh look at some of the region’s museum artifacts. Last February, The Museum of Fine Art in Boston opened New Blue and White, an exploration of cobalt pigment in art in art and fashion. And this winter, the Beineke Rare Book and Manuscript Library at Yale University has used the same vibrant hue as inspiration for its new exhibition Blue: Color and Concept, currently open and running through April 19. Curator Nancy Kuhl has used the cultural history of the color blue in 19th and 20th-century arts and letters as a lens to explore the library’s vast collections.
We at The Mount are particularly excited about the Beineke’s dynamic approach to their collection because Edith Wharton’s 1915 driving permit is featured alongside amusement park blueprints, Langston Hughes’ blue enamel cigarette case, and entomological butterfly illustrations. In addition to its many blue historic and literary objects, the Beineke holds a significant collection of Wharton’s papers and manuscripts such as Wharton’s passport, driver’s license, and personal photographs. The exhibit might also have included a letter written on Wharton’s preferred pale blue stationary or a Parisian petit bleu with which she maintained lifelong relationships spanning the globe. Just as with art and rare manuscripts, blue might also be a useful lens through which to view Edith Wharton.
Even Wharton devotees might be unfamiliar with Bunner Sisters, an early story that strays from Wharton’s typical moneyed setting. Written in 1891 but not published until 1916, Bunner Sisters is one of Wharton’s first New York stories and shows a concern for the lives of working-class women. In the story, Wharton follows the lives of unmarried shopkeepers Ann Eliza and Evelina Bunner, who eke out a living selling handicrafts to the wealthy residents of Stuyvesant Square. Together, Ann Eliza and Evelina face marriages of necessity, dashed hopes, and economic pressures.
Although far from the world of May Welland or Undine Spragg, Wharton’s observations about the false choices and vulnerability inherent in women’s lives are just as astute. Social class, she observes, doesn’t govern women’s prospects so much as gender.
While adapting the novella for the stage, I inadvertently uncovered a likely inspiration for Wharton’s Bunner Sisters. Although little-known today, writer and editor Henry Cuyler Bunner (1855-1896) led a movement that changed the face of politics, art, and literature in America. Bunner was the “literary light” of his era and the first to bring to the forefront the radical concept of “New York as a Field for Fiction.” His works focused on the drama and the hopes of the poor, immigrants, and the disenfranchised trying to make a life in the crowded city streets. Bunner Sisters, in title and in thematic content, is Ms. Wharton’s homage to his literary form.
The City of New York proclaimed December 10, 2012 Henry Cuyler Bunner Day in honor of his cultural legacy to New York City. The National Arts Club further celebrated Bunner’s legacy and Edith Wharton’s 150th birthday with a tribute performance of my adaptation of Bunner Sisters.
In honor of Edith Wharton’s 152nd birthday on January 24, it is with great joy that I extend an invitation to all Edith Wharton admirers to attend a brand new staged reading adaptation of Bunner Sisters currently running as a part of Metropolitan Playhouse’s Gilded Age Festival! Mount members will receive a special $3 discount on tickets.
Linda Selman’s essay, “The Influence of the Bunner Brothers on Edith Wharton’s Bunner Sisters” won honorable mention in the Edith Wharton 2006 Essay Prize and was published in the Edith Wharton Review. Her book, The Inadvertent Researcher: A New York Story chronicles that scholarly adventure in words and pictures.
We are always delighted when Kate Abbott, the editor of Berkshires Week and a terrifically talented writer, turns her attention to Edith Wharton and The Mount. Over the years, Kate has written thoughtful, insightful pieces about poet Mark Strand, poet Kevin Young, and WordFest at The Mount, among many other subjects. Recognizing her passion for literature and learning, we invited her to The Mount in 2012 to address young writers on the art and craft of writing as a journalist. Here’s what she wrote on the Berkshires Week blog about that experience, and the text of the talk about writing–and listening–she shared with her young audience. Take a look when you can. We promise: it’s worth the read!
First and foremost: happy new year, everyone! We hope you had a lovely holiday season.
Now it’s January, and we’re rolling up our sleeves as we prepare for the busy months ahead, which include some exciting off-season programs. What better way to celebrate Edith Wharton’s 152 birthday week than by hosting three special events that place her squarely in current-day context? We hope you can join us for one or all of the following
Saturday, January 18, 3PM, $10 general and free for Mount members: In the heart of Downton Abbey‘s fourth season on PBS, join Vanity Fair editor/writer David Kamp for a lively, lighthearted talk about his experiences with Julian Fellowes and how Fellowes’ work is informed by Wharton’s novels.
Thursday, January 23, 6PM, $5 general and free for Mount members: Acclaimed author Francesca Segal will guest star in a very special winter reading on January 23rd. Segal, author of The Innocents, a novel inspired by Wharton’s The Age of Innocence, will read from New Year’s Day (the Seventies) in the Drawing Room on the eve of Wharton’s 152nd birthday.
Saturday, January 25, 3PM, $10 general and free for Mount members: The Mount will welcome Wharton scholar Dr. Emily Orlando, who will discuss the secret to Wharton’s enduring popularity, making connections to contemporary culture, art, and even Lady Gaga. Considering Lily Bart’s tableau vivant in The House of Mirth as a turning point in the writer’s work, Dr. Orlando will discuss the ways in which Wharton resonates in our 21st-century world.
We hope to see you at The Mount soon!
When Lowell and Jan Steinbrenner of Pittsburgh, PA (and summer residents of Chatham, NY) renewed their Mount membership at the Sponsor level, they expected free admission to many programs, four guest passes, and a private lunch with Executive Director Susan Wissler– but they didn’t know they’d get a brand new Dooney & Bourke handbag, too! The Steinbrenners were the winners of The Mount’s fall raffle, featuring as its prize the Dooney & Bourke Florentine Clayton Satchel (retail value: $428).
The satchel was donated to The Mount by Dooney & Bourke, which chose Edith Wharton’s historic property for the location of a recent photo shoot.
Thank you, Dooney & Bourke– and thank you, Steinbrenners! Stay tuned to the website for details about our next membership raffle.