Wednesday, May 27, 2009

A Fantastic Opportunity for the Dedicated Whartonian!

An incredible collection of papers, letters, and artifacts of great interest to Whartonians everywhere has just come to light. The Anna Bahlmann Collection, mainly consisting of letters from Edith Wharton to Anna Bahlmann, her lifelong friend, companion, tutor, secretary and amanuensis, has been put up for sale at Christie's. It is a treasure trove of material, never before reviewed or published, including a letter that appears to be the earliest known extant letter from Edith Jones, written in May 1874. This vast archive could be the greatest contribution to Wharton scholarship for many years, and it is to be fervently hoped that it will be bought by some person or institution who will give access to researchers, and not keep it hidden away as it has been for so many years. Of course, the perfect home for these papers is The Mount! But alas, with an estimate of between $80,000-120,000 they are beyond our means at the moment. If any Mountie out there feels that they would like to help both Wharton scholarship and The Mount, get down to Christies on June 24th and keep on bidding, then simply donate them to us and everyone wins!