Friday, July 19, 2013

Wendy, Barry and Edith

We arrived at Stockbridge, Massachusetts in the early evening last night.

I have always wanted to come to Stockbridge and to the Berkshires region.  It is so lovely and quiet and picturesque.  Stockbridge was also the home of Norman Rockwell, who painted the quintessential painting of the Main Street:



The hotel we are staying at is the Red Lion Inn, pictured on the far right of this picture.

I'll do more on the Inn in a future post - it is quite special.  The great thing about Stockbridge is that every Christmas, they recreate the picture above - the Main Street looks exactly the same now and they bring in antique cars and park them in the exact same way - how fun!

But today is not about the Red Lion Inn.  Today is about Edith Wharton!

An admission - I had never read Edith Wharton until three weeks ago!  Don't ask why - I cannot say.  Since then, I have read The Age of Innocence and House of Mirth. I think Henry James inspired me to read more classic American writers.  Thanks Dani and the Mop Philosophy Book Club!  Can't wait for the next book club title!

Anyway.  Edith Wharton built a fabulous house in Lee Massachusetts called The Mount.  You can visit the website about her house here.

We arrived just at opening, which was a good thing, as it was so hot!  We were the only ones in the garden and one of probably only 10 people in the house.



 When you arrive, you by the stables, above...

And on the way to the house, various art installations are set in the forest:


The one below was my favourite.  It was a poetry hut and you wrote a note or a poem to Edith and hung it up for all to see:



Barry down in the formal gardens...




The House!  Isn't it amazing?????


In the courtyard at the back of the house...



Leopard print stair runners!


The dining room.  Notice the leopard print cushion on the floor.  Edith loved her dogs and they had pride of place in the house, including the dining room.  Her Pet Cemetery is quite touching:



The hallway with terrazo floors and marble baseboards.


The library..


sitting room...


Bedroom, where she did most of her writing (in bed!)


The linen closet - see the iron, Dani?


Your friend, dressed coolly with a big floppy hat...

and Barry through an arch...



We loved the Mount.  It was lovely and the gift shoppe was wonderful! We bought lots of treats, but they can't be shared as they are gifts!


We'll let Edith's words, see us out of the house...


Well worth a visit!!! 

Hope you enjoyed a little visit...

Have a great day and stay safe out there!




33 comments:

  1. Wendy- Sorry I have been too busy to comment. Your posts have kept me quite entertained. I love your pictures with Dani. How nice to meet a fellow JCA! Her garden is lovely. I am really trying to get my family to Niagara falls this year. Your candid shots were more useful than the tourist sites. I just came back from a day trip to western Mass. but didn't make it to the Rockwell Museum yet. As I will be heading that way in a week or so, I will keep the EW house in mind. That might be a tough sell to my sons. You look so soignee in that hat. Looking forward to your next piece!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Knityarns, I think you would really like the house and the gardens are amazing! I have a LOT more pictures, but didn't want to bore you all! It was lovely!!!

      I always think the falls are amazing and I even get a kick out of the tacky tourist stuff!

      Delete
  2. oh what a wonderful visit. thank you for sharing! i am in love with that leopard carpet on the stairs, how glamorous!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I love the runners too!! It is an amazing house and the gardens are divine - I may post some more garden photos on the weekend!

      Delete
  3. Love the leopard stair runners. Love the hat.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. BB, I was too busy dying at WMM's post tag to notice her hat - at first.

      Delete
    2. I love my hat, too! I can't wear a bucket hat. I was supposed to be born in the 1920s!

      Delete
  4. HOUSE OF MIRTH WMM, I predict a visit to Castel St.-Claire, Edith's home village in Provence, in your future. It thrills me she was the first woman to win the Pulitzer (AoI.) Glad the Red Lion is holding up. Luff the hat. Also hink everyone needs a "poetry hut" for non e-greetings. And while others may rightly swoon over the stair runners etc. what I really want is that linen closet with a NEW iron (or gardens.) Safe home lady - and gentleman!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Those exit words are SO sad.

      Delete
    2. And, aside from your new inspiration, reason why I think you might go to the Parc et Castel (actually above Hyeres) is that it's one of the notable gardens of France, friend of mine visited in 2010.

      Delete
    3. I will definitely hit her house in France someday! The house is exquisite - I will likely post more photos on the weekend!

      Delete
  5. You look fabulous! I have always wanted a leopard print runner- hubs is having none if it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I have told Barry we will be getting a leopard print runner and he has agreed - it was so striking!

      Delete
  6. Thank you for bringing this to my attention. I didn't know this gem existed and it's not too far away from us. We are all bookworms in the family and they would love this, some lit immersion for spring break. You look like a modern Lily Bart by that pillar.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I am feeling like Lily Bart!!! You would love this house Marie!

      Delete
  7. I love the house, the while Stockbridge/Lenox area is entrancing. Edith published The Decoration of Houses in something like 1897, and it was startling for its time because of the emphasis on simplicity and comfort.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hey Fred - she really was ahead of her time, wasn't she?

      Delete
    2. I have that little book! Was reprinted in the 80's I think. Proportion was key,too.

      Delete
  8. Wow! I have to go there now! That's some linen closet and thanks for pointing out the dreaded iron! I wonder if Edith had a big staff at the house. I love visiting these historical homes in the USA, unlike Canada where so much is government-run they seem to be run by private foundations and staffed by the most intelligent and passionate volunteers you'll ever come across.
    I love your outfit with the big floppy hat, how perfect and tell Barry he is looking very appropriate to the setting in his white shirt.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. oh yes, we were all linen and blowsy cotton - tres casual chic! This is definitely run by a private foundation - Laura Bush is the honourary Chair. I have more photos - may post a few more this weekend as the house was so lovely and is being lovingly restored!

      Delete
    2. Dani and WMM you will love Hudson Valley, NY. Rockefeller, Van Cortlandt & Washington Irving estates to visit then a break in one of the excellent farm-to-restaurant sites in the area.

      Delete
  9. I LOVE your outfit! So simple and chic. I have a hat like that (from J Crew, where else?) and I never have the guts to wear it, but you make it look so natural. Love it. Add to your Edith reading list The Buccaneers. BBC also made a series film of it, and it's the BEST! So much drama! I think I've watch the film series 100 times, and the first several episodes were filmed at The Mount. It's just a feast for the eyes, from start to finish.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh Elizabeth - awesome - am adding to the list! I think my hat is from Cornell Trading - it is very old - probably 10 plus years. I always feel very Vanessa Bell in it!!! (I was never Virginia Woolf, always the pragmatic sister)

      Delete
  10. It is worth a trip-- such a civilized house.

    I love EW now, but in high school I was made to read Ethan Frome, a book I found so puzzling then I went off EW for years. Wonder what I'd think now.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hey Lane - sorry we were not able to stop yesterday - we blew right through Maine when we realized it was 100 in Portland (and it was when we stopped at Chipotle to get an order to bring home for the kids!)

      hopefully this fall!

      Delete
  11. Hi Wendy, this was a post full of superlatives - the stair runner! the hat! the linen closet! The house is beautiful - looking forward to seeing more photos. This looks like such a civilised vacation!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Patricia - it was a pretty civilized vacation!

      Delete
  12. Thank you so much for your lovely post! Many years ago, in my twenties I read Age of Innocence, and then I couldn't stop...I read the lot, back to back!! Followed closely by Henry James. I have never see the Wharton house, but it is now on my bucket list...thanks to you!! Cannot wait to see the rest of your travels...thank you so much for generously sharing!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Rebecca - I think I am about to do the same! The WHarton House is magnificent - a few more pictures to come this morning!

      Delete
  13. How delightful, I love those picture-perfect postcard sights and towns. They are always memorable.

    The Wharton passage at the end is rather haunting. I got goose pimples!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I felt the same way, xoxo - laughed this am when I saw your new icon - how appropos!

      Delete
  14. I have been to the Mount and Stockbridge two years ago in the summer and I loved it, I took very similar pictures, you brought those memories back to me. I loved the house and loved the gardens even better. They had jazz concert on the terrace where we sat drinking wine and admiring the view, it was beautiful. Berkshires are perfect for an adult vacations, so much to do! I always wanted to stay at Red Lion Inn but we ended up in another B&B in Lenox.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. We were crazy about the Red Lion - it was amazing! The Mount is very special, I think!

      Delete

Kindness is a virtue...