Edith Wharton in the Magazine Popular Science

I’ve gotten used to seeing Edith Wharton’s name all over the place but when I found out she’d popped up in the magazine Popular Science, I really had to check it out. Before I hit the link, I took some guesses on what her scientific connection might be. One possibility: She was intrigued by Charles… [Read More]

Julian Fellowes on Edith Wharton

I know both Downton Abbey and Edith Wharton fans will appreciate this article from the Berkshire Eagle in which Julian Fellowes, the writer of Downton Abbey talks about how his late-in-life reading of two Wharton novels inspired first his failed writing venture, then Gosford Park and then, of course, Downton Abbey. “She observes but she… [Read More]

The Doorway to High Society

In Edith Wharton’s Gilded Age New York, the new-money people were storming the gates of High Society and the Old Guard (people of birth, background, and breeding) were making a vain attempt to keep those gates firmly closed.  Today, Society is open to all comers!  The only requirement to entry is the desire to become… [Read More]

Diana Morón Meets Edith Wharton

When I wrote The Brave Escape of Edith Wharton, I was hoping the book would be discovered by high school teachers and used to introduce a new generation of readers to Edith Wharton. You can imagine my delight when Diana Morón, a sophomore at Porterville High School in Porterville, California, introduced herself to me by… [Read More]

My Dear Governess; The Letters of Edith Wharton to Anna Bahlmann – Reviewed by Connie Nordhielm Wooldridge

My Dear Governess; The Letters of Edith Wharton to Anna Bahlmann edited by Irene Goldman-Price; Yale University Press, 2012. 296 pages; $30.00 (hardcover); reading level: adult. On May 31st, 1874, twelve-year-old Edith Wharton (then Edith Jones) wrote to her beloved twenty-five-year-old governess, Anna Bahlmann, inviting her to come to the Jones’ summer home in Newport,… [Read More]

More Letters From Edith!

Just as my Edith Wharton biography was going to press, a stash of letters from Edith to her governess (and later secretary) was discovered.  How can I get my hands on those? I wondered.  The answer wasn’t long in coming.  In April of 2011, when I spoke at The Mount, I met Irene Goldman-Price who… [Read More]

A Late Arrival at Downton Abbey

I confess. I arrived late to the Downton Abbey party. When season one began I was intrigued, but Sunday nights didn’t work for me. Then everyone was watching it and my contrarian instincts kicked in: Who wants to watch what everybody’s watching? When season two began I told myself I didn’t want to jump in… [Read More]

Tales of the London Book Festival and John Ericsson Events

If you want to find characters for a novel, there’s no better place to look than a writer’s event.  Since the January 26 awards dinner for the London Book Festival was an international gathering the “characters” were even more colorful:  A former Yugoslavian who spoke very little English, a tall-tale teller from Montana, a charming… [Read More]

Happy 150th Birthday, Edith Wharton!

A 150th birthday is cause for celebration – and not just for one day! The Mount will be commemorating Edith Wharton’s 150th birthday throughout 2012 and you’ll want to keep an eye on events as they’re posted. While most people are impressed with Edith Wharton’s intelligence, it’s her boundless energy that continues to stun me…. [Read More]

“Loud Voices”

Lucretia Jones could not have had an easy time raising her daughter Edith. She was a woman of average intelligence and superficial interests suddenly confronted by a child whose brilliance was apparent from the get-go. She probably tried valiantly to maintain her maternal authority and, if her daughter’s claim that pleasing her mother and pleasing… [Read More]