The Mount is a historic house in Lenox, Massachusetts, which was the home of Edith Wharton, a renowned American author, for almost a decade. The Mount is a must-visit destination for anyone interested in literature, architecture, and history. In this article, we will explore the history and significance of The Mount, as well as provide helpful tips for planning your visit.
Edith Wharton, born in 1862 in New York City, was a Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist, short story writer, and designer. She is best known for her works of fiction, such as “The Age of Innocence,” “Ethan Frome,” and “The House of Mirth.” Wharton purchased the land in Lenox in 1901, and the house was designed by Ogden Codman Jr., her close friend and co-author of “The Decoration of Houses.”
The construction of The Mount began in 1902 and was completed in 1903. The house was designed in the Georgian Revival style, with a symmetrical facade, classical columns, and a hipped roof. The Mount was one of the first homes in the United States to have central heating and a telephone system. The interior of the house was decorated with Wharton’s collection of European and American art and furniture, reflecting her love of fine design.
Wharton lived at The Mount from 1902 until 1911, during which time she wrote some of her most famous novels, including “The House of Mirth” and “Ethan Frome.” Wharton was also a keen gardener and landscaped the grounds herself, creating a series of outdoor rooms and terraces. After leaving The Mount, Wharton continued to write and became a prominent literary figure until her death in 1937.
The Mount is significant for several reasons. Firstly, it is an excellent example of the Georgian Revival style of architecture, which was popular in the United States during the early 20th century. The house was designed to reflect Wharton’s taste and love of fine design and has been preserved as a testament to her creativity and vision.
Secondly, The Mount is an important literary landmark, as it was the home of one of America’s greatest writers. The house and its grounds inspired many of Wharton’s novels, and her presence is still felt in the house today. The Mount is also significant because it reflects the life and lifestyle of the wealthy and elite during the early 20th century.
Finally, The Mount is significant because of its beautiful gardens and landscapes. Wharton’s design of the gardens and outdoor spaces is a testament to her love of horticulture and her desire to create beautiful and functional outdoor spaces. The gardens are open to the public and provide a tranquil setting for visitors to enjoy.
Planning Your Visit
If you’re planning a visit to The Mount, there are several things to keep in mind. Firstly, the house and gardens are open to the public from May to October, and tickets can be purchased online or at the door. Guided tours of the house are available, and visitors can explore the gardens and outdoor spaces at their leisure.
Secondly, The Mount hosts a range of events and programs throughout the year, including lectures, concerts, and literary festivals. Check the website for the latest information on upcoming events.
Finally, Lenox and the surrounding area offer a range of other attractions, including the Tanglewood Music Center, the Norman Rockwell Museum, and several hiking trails. Plan to spend a day or two in the area to make the most of your visit.
The Mount is a must-visit destination for anyone interested in literature, architecture, and history. This historic house, and its beautiful gardens are a testament to the creativity and vision of Edith Wharton, one of America’s greatest writers. The house and its grounds provide a glimpse into the life and lifestyle of the wealthy and elite during the early 20th century, while also serving as an excellent example of the Georgian Revival style of architecture.
Whether you’re a literary enthusiast, an architecture buff, or a lover of gardens, The Mount has something to offer everyone. With its range of events and programs, as well as its proximity to other local attractions, The Mount is the perfect destination for a day trip or a weekend getaway.
So why not plan a visit to The Mount today and experience the beauty and creativity of one of America’s greatest writers for yourself?