Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Good suggestions

Elizabeth Blakeslee writes:
"You need to be able to accept credit card donations on line. People will want to act immediately if they are moved by your story. Sign up with PayPal if you cannot get someone to set up online credit card donations. You will make up in impulse donations what you lose in service fees by using PayPal.

It may sound silly, but have you contacted Oprah?

Good luck."

The Mount is grateful for these ideas and for the support that we have received throughout the past very difficult year. Although we are at the moment in the process of completely revamping our website, it is still possible to donate online. The direct link is here.

We have indeed been in touch with Oprah; in fact The Mount was mentioned in the magazine "O at Home" last summer. Now that "The Age of Innocence" is one of the choices for "The Big Read", we wonder when Oprah will choose one of Wharton's works for her book club!

Elizabeth Peyton in Dublin

The American artist Elizabeth Peyton is having her first show in Ireland beginning April 1. Entitled "Reading and Writing", the exhibition "has a particular focus on poetry and literature, interiors and photographs, desire and love". Her work often juxtaposes the historic with the contemporary, as in the above work, in which the characters from "The Age of Innocence" are portrayed in a way that greatly resembles the actors from Martin Scorsese's film. The show is on in Dublin at the Irish Museum of Modern Art until June 21, 2009.

Friday, March 27, 2009

If The Mount is too haunted for you ...

... then perhaps you could buy this property in Newport. It is the former gatehouse of Pencraig, the summer home of Edith Jones's parents, George and Lucretia. Edith Jones spent her summers here, and after her marriage she and her husband lived in a cottage on the property. Although the main house was demolished in the 1950s, the gatehouse was turned into condos. No word yet on any paranormal activites there, but one never knows!

Thursday, March 26, 2009

TAPS finds paranormal activity at The Mount ...

... and we have already had more evidence here on the property. We are in the process of restoring and refinishing the bedroom floor (on which Jason and Grant found a heat signature of a handprint on the wall). Every day when the work is done, the house is closed up and very securely locked and alarmed. For the last two days, when the contractor has come back to resume work on the floor, he has found that some of his things have been moved. None of the staff has yet assumed responsibility ...

If you missed it, the Ghost Hunters episode featuring The Mount is now posted on their website.

If you have never read any of Edith Wharton's ghost stories, now might be time to give them a try. A number of these can be found online, including "The Lady's Maid's Bell".

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

"I was seized by a choking agony of terror ... "

Your intrepid blogger may be posting for the last time, since by tomorrow she may be too terrified ever to return to The Mount because tonight is the night! Ghost Hunters airs on the SciFi Channel, and the entire hour is devoted to The Mount. Those of us who weren't in on the "reveal" still have to wait to find out if any ghosts appeared, or if the sounds we hear are just the wind ...

To find out some of the stories that have been told about The Mount visit Ghosteyes.com and of course, if any of our readers has had an "experience" at The Mount that cannot be easily explained away, please email info@edithwharton.org and let us know.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

"Gossip Girl" v. "The Age of Innocence"

Edith Wharton's appeal never fades, and she is always at the forefront of popular culture, as is proven by the hit series "Gossip Girl" on the CW network. Not only are two characters named "Lily" and "Bart", but the most recent episode features a stage version of "The Age of Innocence". Would Mrs. Wharton approve? Who knows, were she living now, she might actually be head writer for "Gossip Girl" ...

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Harrowing tales of hauntings at historic home ...

The Mount is featured in this story from The Berkshire Eagle announcing the upcoming visit of the Ghost Hunters of TAPS and the SciFi Channel. The article also includes a video ... don't watch it alone ... or with the lights off ...

And more importantly, don't forget to check your local listings for March 25 (click on SciFi.com and then schedules to find your time zone) and make sure to catch The Mount on Ghosthunters. They are devoting the entire hour to the property, and during their visit in December they spent time in all areas of the estate, using all of the equipment at their disposal to do a very thorough investigation.
So far, they have not told us their findings, so do not be surprised if you try to contact The Mount on March 26 only to find that all staff and volunteers have fled in terror ...

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Walking Tour in New York

Although the NYC Dept. of Parks and Recreation chooses to call it the "Henry James Walking Tour" it would appear that the "Edith Wharton Walking Tour" would work almost as well. The tour, led by Joyce Gold, is given in collaboration with the Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation and the Mercantile Library for The Big Read salute to Henry James's "Washington Square". It is on Sunday, April 5, 2009 at 1.30 pm, and costs $7.00. As we know from a previous post the 23rd Street house in which Mrs. Wharton was born is now a Starbucks, so if that is included the walkers will be able to have some caffeine to help them on their way.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Scorsese's "Age of Innocence" passes muster

In an interesting post-Oscars article in The Guardian, Salman Rushdie discusses success and failure in adapting novels into films. Not many examples of success are cited, but one is indeed the Martin Scorsese adaptation of "The Age of Innocence". The article is quite long, but it is worth finishing, if only for the use of the word "windbaggery" to describe a certain author's prose style (not Mrs. Wharton's, of course!)