Monday, January 11, 2010

In The Reef Edith Wharton wrote: “Silence may be as variously shaded as speech." That must serve as The Mount's blog's excuse for its own prolonged silence. This silence cannot continue, however, as Edith Wharton's presence in the wide world of the internets is as pervasive now as it has ever been. The Classics Circuit encourages the reading of great books by celebrating certain authors in book blogs. January has been Edith Wharton Month! Rather than list all of the many, many blog entries here, we prefer to eliminate the middle man and send the reader straight to the Edith Wharton Tour Schedule on their website.

This should keep all Whartonians suitably occupied, but if not, here follow a few more links.

January 7 was the seventy-fourth anniversary of the debut of two plays on Broadway, important not only to American theatre in general but to Mounties in particular. Both Edith Wharton's Old New York story The Old Maid, in Zoe Akins' adaptation, and The Petrified Forest, starring Leslie Howard and Humphrey Bogart in his breakout role, opened in New York that night. The significance of The Old Maid is self-explanatory. But as our readers know, The Mount's blog is founded on the premise that Edith Wharton is the centre of the cultural universe, and so The Petrified Forest also belongs here, as the film of the same name with the same cast also starred Bette Davis, who of course starred in the film version of The Old Maid (above, with Miriam Hopkins) in 1939. (Plus, your blogger has always has a bit of a "thing" for Leslie Howard, and welcomes any excuse to bring him up (also above, and looking lovely as ever).

Dame Judith Anderson starred in the Broadway version, and in yet another very fine sequitur we herewith present Judith Anderson reading the Gettysburg Address on the Ed Sullivan Show. The clip features the sculpture from the Lincoln Memorial by Edith Wharton's Berkshires neighbour Daniel Chester French of Chesterwood.

1 comment:

  1. Ok, I tried commenting before, but it didn't post. Continuing our conversation, what about Reese Witherspoon as Olenska, or a younger Demi Moore or Jennifer Connelly or Julianne Moore...