Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Ms. Hen visits Edith Wharton's mansion The Mount

The Mount
2 Plunkett Street
Lenox, MA 01240

Ms. Hen had wanted to go to The Mount for years. She had visited Western Massachusetts frequently: she went camping there many times when she was young, and her hen sister went to college in North Adams. Ms. Hen went to graduate school in southern Vermont, so she was always in close proximity to Edith Wharton’s house, but she finally visited it on a sultry August afternoon with some chicken friends.

The group arrived right before the scheduled two o’clock tour of the house and garden. They decided to take the tour of the house. The tour guide’s name was Cecily, a young bubbly woman who was intent on everyone in the tour group on looking at her when she spoke. Ms. Hen wasn’t interested in looking at her, she wanted to take pictures of the house, but the tour guide told everyone that they weren’t to take photos until near the end of the tour. She originally said that there was just no flash photography. Ms. Hen didn’t care what she said and took pictures anyway.

Ms. Hen has been to many writers’ houses. She has been to the Mark Twain house, the Emily Dickinson house and the Louisa May Alcott house. She thought The Mount was different from the other houses in the way that none of the original furniture was there. Edith Wharton built the house and only lived there for ten years. She wrote in bed most of the time.

Ms. Hen at the foot of Edith Wharton's bed

Edith Wharton came from New York society, and was expected to marry, have children, attend parties and fit in. She married an unstable man, who might have had bipolar disorder, and they divorced, which caused a scandal in society. She also wrote, which was against what was deemed appropriate for a woman of her station. But Edith Wharton didn’t care what society wanted. She did what she wanted to do.

Ms. Hen, doing what she wants

The garden at the Mount is stunning. Ms. Hen thought this was the best part of the house. Two fountains flank each side of the mansion, with carefully sculpted hedges and benches for resting.

Ms. Hen, relaxing

Even though the weather was hot, Ms. Hen and her friends went to the terrace cafĂ© and had some refreshments. The view from the terrace is lovely. Visitors could have wine, beer, coffee and different kinds of food. Ms. Hen had iced coffee. The evening that Ms. Hen’s group went to the Mount, there was a “free” jazz concert. It was free, but people have to pay 18 dollars to get in. 

On the walk toward the mansion in the back or the estate, art decorates the forest. Different modern sculptures adorn the trees, with the price of each one on the descriptions. Ms. Hen’s favorite was the coats without heads.

Ms. Hen and her alter ego

The Mount is a long drive from Boston, but Ms. Hen stayed in Northampton for the weekend. Ms. Hen recommends The Mount because it is wonderful to walk where a famous writer walked and to see the views from the window that she saw. Ms. Hen gives the Mount five enthusiastic feathers up.

What Edith saw

1 comment:

  1. Ms Hen is a good writer much like Edith Wharton. Her observations of the Mount are very interesting and even funny at times.