Edith Wharton Restoration - The Mount

Edith Wharton Restoration - The Mount

Edith Wharton believed that the design of a house should be treated architecturally, and should honor the principles of proportion, harmony, simplicity, and suitability. "Proportion...gives repose and distinction to a room," she advised in The Decoration of Houses. "Simplicity is at home even in palaces." Gardens, too, she elaborated in Italian Villas and Their Gardens, should be architectural compositions, divided into rooms, and planned in concert with the house and the natural landscape.

Wharton was so pleased with her garden design at The Mount that, years after the publication of her best selling novel, The House of Mirth, she wrote to a friend: "Decidedly, I'm a better landscape gardener than novelist, and this place, every line of which is my own work, far surpasses The House of Mirth."

The Mount, built as her career was beginning to flourish, and fashioned after a seventeenth-century English estate (but graced with a French courtyard and an Italianate terrace), was Wharton's first full expression of her architectural enthusiasms and, as critics have proclaimed, a perfect example of the newly dawned American Renaissance.

Photo 73, Oct 2006

Edith Wharton Restoration - The Mount

Photo 75, Oct 2006

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