SOS! Edith Wharton’s Berkshires home, The
Mount, which has been a museum for many years, is pending foreclosure! They
have put out an all-points-bulletin to save her house. They need
about 3 million dollars before the end of March.
I urge all of you who love her and her work to consider donating to
this cause–her home has recently gotten back her considerable
library and it would be a crime to see this national treasure fall
back into disrepair or worse.
If they get the 3 million, they have a pledge to match it, which should put them in the black again. Every little bit counts. They’ve done some wonderful things to the home in the past several years, turning it into a truly historic museum and monument all things literary and artistic. It would be terrible to lose it.
You can donate and find out more information at
A few important points: if you go to that link and make an online pledge, they are very clear that they won’t actually call in your pledge until they reach their goal. So it will not be money wasted. Also at that link are some before and after photos that show the amount of work they have put into the house in the past ten years.
If you’re an Edith Wharton fan , or even a fan of gardens and design, you can imagine why this mansion is special. I’ve been fortunate to tour it twice, once at the very beginning of its rennaissance in 1993 and just this past summer. Even before its current revival, touring the gardens and the majestic rooms and seeing Wharton’s design ideas put into practice, the symmetry everywhere and the Gatsby-esque wedding cake ceilings fifteen years ago, as a newlywed, was what got me interested in design in the first place. And in Wharton’s work. Before then, I’d just read Ethan Frome. Soon after I devoured Age of Innocence and House of Mirth as well as her biographies. I just got the new one by Hermione Lee, for my birthday but haven’t had a chance to read it. Reviewers say it’s the best yet.
Recently, they re-purchased her entire book collection from a collector in London and have reconstituted it in her library. Imagine being able to visit a beloved writer’s home and see the very books that they read, that interested them. I stood as close to them as they would let me and it took my breath away. Readers, we have to make sure others can have this experience too.
I am going to post some photos below that I took there this summer. But to truly appreciate it, you should see the professional photo on the website.
Donate, donate, y’all. Save Edith Wharton’s home! Save The Mount!