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A place I'd like to visit

January 24th, 2009 (01:15 am)

current mood: busy

On this day in 1862, Edith Wharton was born to an affluent New York family. She was the first woman awarded the Pulitzer Prize for fiction, an honorary doctorate of letters from Yale, and full membership in the American Academy of Arts and Letters. Money and marriage did not bring happiness, but they did help provide the material for novels like The House of Mirth, The Age of Innocence, Ethan Frome, and dozens more novels, essays, poems, and non-fiction books on architecture and gardening. She wrote until her death at age seventy-five.

Wharton's ideas on architecture and gardening were manifested in her beautiful Massachusetts home, The Mount. Wharton designed not only the house, but all the gardens. After her death, the property went through several owners, including a school and a theater company. By 1980, the buildings were in disrepair and the gardens overgrown when it was taken over the by the not-for-profit Edith Wharton Restoration.

After years of work on the house and other structures as well as the gardens, the property was almost foreclosed on last year. With help from continuing donations and careful planning for new and more financially sound uses and management of The Mount, there's hope that this one of only five percent of Historic National Landmarks dedicated to women is preserved.


If you own any of the books in the opposite side bar and would like them signed, mail them to:
P.O. Box 924104
Houston, TX 77292
Please include three dollars for return postage. Thank you.

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