Thursday, May 7, 2009

"What nonsense! It can't be war."

The upcoming world première of a new musical version of Edith Wharton's novel A Son at the Front takes place in Chicago in June 5. A Son at the Front was the final of a number of works, both fiction and non-fiction, written by Wharton on the theme of the First World War, and we hope that Whartonians in the Chicago area will support this new production. Break a leg!

This comes at a timely moment for The Mount, as well. This season we are presenting a new exhibition written and designed especially for The Mount entitled Edith Wharton and the First World War.

The war had a profound effect on Edith Wharton. After leaving The Mount in 1911 and subsequently divorcing her husband in 1913, she found herself an independent woman for the first time. Just as she was beginning this new stage of her life, the world around her decended into chaos. She threw herself tirelessly and enthusiastically into work, both charitable and literary, and in doing so found a new strength and compassion in herself. By highlighting these two very different aspects of her work, we hope to highlight a side of Edith Wharton that is less well known to the public.

Edith Wharton and the First World War officially opens on May 22 and will run throughout the season. Please check our website for more details. (The above photograph from the "Children of Flanders" charity: “including the nuns and about 200 infirm old men and women, who are ‘children’ too … and could not be left alone in the ruins.” is courtesy of the Beinecke Library.)