Member Event: The Butler Did It!

July 2, 2020 @ 4:00 pm – 5:00 pm

Please note this is a Mount Member event. For all our online events, registration closes one hour prior to the event. 

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Guests arriving at The Mount in the summer of 1917 had no idea that the new, suave French butler at the door, known as Henri, was actually an escaped convict from Devil’s Island in French Guiana.

His unsuspecting employers, Albert and Mary Shattuck, had purchased The Mount in 1911 from Edith and Teddy Wharton.

Local historian and author of Edith Wharton’s Lenox, Cornelia Brooke Gilder, will tell the spine-chilling story, she first heard from her mother, of how this devious Corsican, Alphonse Mourey, preyed on the Shattucks and their household in the subsequent years.


A lifelong Berkshire resident, Cornelia Brooke Gilder was educated at Vassar College and New Hall, Cambridge University. She is co-author of Houses of the Berkshires:1870-1930 (Acanthus Press) and Hawthorne’s Lenox and Edith Wharton’s Lenox (both with the History Press).

She also has contributed to two architectural guidebooks to Albany, NY where she worked with the New York State Preservation Office early in her career.  At the Clark Art Institute in 2005 she was co-curator of “A Walk in the Country: Inness and the Berkshires” and at The Mount of a current exhibit on Edith Wharton’s husband, Teddy. For the past 22 years she has been a member of the program committee at Ventfort Hall.

Married to author George Gilder, she lives in Tyringham, MA and serves on the Tyringham Historical Commission.

The Mount is a Massachusetts Cultural Council UP designated organization welcoming participants of all disabilities. Please contact The Mount at 413-551-5100 or by email,, to discuss accommodations needed to participate fully in this event.