A LOOK BACK… Happy 150th Birthday, Edith Wharton!

The Brave Escape of Edith Wharton by Connie Nordhielm Wooldridge

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. I could hardly keep up as I “watched” her tear through life. I was exhausted by simply writing about her. It took me months and months to read her books; I can scarcely wrap my mind around the fact that she wrote every word in every one of those books with a fountain pen.

Yet she somehow managed to live an active life while writing all those books. She traveled, she gardened, she entertained… Poor Henry James was positively alarmed by her energy as he sat in his home in England gearing up for a visit from her – “the coming of Edith” he called it. His secretary disliked Edith for the disruption that always arrived with her. She was a force to reckoned with – on paper AND in the flesh!

If you haven’t yet met this astonishing woman, this is the year and The Mount is the place. Whether you’re a reader, a gardener, an interior decorator, or a World War I buff, there will be something for you to love right in the middle of the Berkshires of western Massachusetts.

Connie Speaking at “The Mount”

The Brave Escape of Edith Wharton

By Connie Nordhielm Wooldridge


Edith Wharton, author of Ethan Frome, The House of Mirth, and other acclaimed novels, was born into a wealthy New York City family during the Gilded Age. In fact, she was a Jones of “keeping up with the Joneses” fame.  This anecdote opens Woodridge’s biography of an astonishing life.  Beginning in childhood, Edith found ways to escape from society’s and her family’s expectations and follow an unconventional, creative path. Unhappily married and eventually divorced, she surrounded herself with the cultural creatives of her day, mostly male friends.  To escape the obligations of New York City high society, she spent much of her life in Paris and was recognized by the French government for her work establishing four charities during World War I. Her literary and personal life, her witty and incisive correspondence, her fondness for automobiles and small dogs–all are detailed in this vibrant account of a woman well ahead of her time.  Includes photographs, a bibliography, source notes, and an index.

Connie Nordhielm Wooldridge, Author

Connie Nordhielm WooldridgeBiography | View

Speaker / Presenter

Connie is an experienced speaker and presenter who enjoys sharing her passion for writing and her experience as a writer with readers and writers of all ages. She has presented to students, community, civic and professional organizations, writing groups, library audiences, and seniors – wherever book lovers gather!
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