Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Pulitzer Prize winners coming to The Mount

This year's lecture series at The Mount has been announced and is up on our website. The concentration is on biography, and it looks like a very exciting group of authors. Two of the works have been awarded Pulitzer Prizes: John Matteson, winner of the 2008 award for Biography for his work Toward the Celestial Country: The Alcotts as a Transcendental Family; and the 2009 winner for History, Annette Gordon-Reed for The Hemingses of Monticello: An American Family.

Of course, the precedent was set by Mrs. Wharton herself, who was the first woman to be presented the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction (or as it was called then Novel), in 1921 for The Age of Innocence. An interesting tidbit from the library here at The Mount: we do not have Mrs. Wharton's first edition of The Age of Innocence, but she did keep a later edition which has "Pulitzer Prize Winner" blind-stamped on the front cover!

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

My little old dog, a heartbeat at my feet ...

As all Whartonians know, if there was one thing that Mrs. Wharton loved above all others it was dogs. Not only did she own many many dogs during her lifetime, but she also was one of the founder members of the S.P.C.A. in the United States. Although The Mount is without political affiliation, and does not want to run the risk of being accused of political bias, we feel that it is fitting to congratulate the First Family on the new addition to the household, Bo, the First Dog! Compare Bo to Jules, one of the Wharton's dogs here at The Mount, Teddy Wharton's favorite! Seen above with Teddy on horseback, Jules's breed has always been something of a mystery. His rather eccentric hairstyle, combined with his somewhat squat physique must give some hints, but as yet The Mount is not sure. Some suggestions have been Skye Terrier, Loewchen, and yes, even Portuguese Water Dog. Any suggestions will be welcome, just email webmaster@edithwharton.org. (The above photo is from the Edith Wharton Collection at the Lilly Library, University of Indiana)

Thursday, April 2, 2009

"A good joke – & perhaps that should have come first – "

The Mount would like to congratulate her near neighbors, The Red Lion Inn in Stockbridge, for finding such a worthy group to host on April 1st. It brings to mind two apt quotations from Edith Wharton: "The only way not to think about money is to have a great deal of it" from The House of Mirth; and
"My ruling passions:
Justice – Order –
Dogs –
Books –
Flowers –
Architecture –
Travel –
A good joke – & perhaps that should have come first – "
from one of her unpublished notebooks.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Wharton continues to inspire young writers.

(This came in recently from a recent visitor. Thanks!)
"Over the past three years I visited The Mount three times. My last visit in 2008 was with my then 8th grade daughter who wrote an English project on Ms. Wharton. This project turned out to be her most favorite project ever and one in which she earned an “A”. More important than the grade, as a parent it was thrilling to witness her passion for Ms. Wharton and her literature grow. Touring The Mount was the perfect mother/daughter activity and one memory we will always cherish."