This past Monday and Tuesday we took another brief vacation, this one a small group tour led by our friend Louise Devenish, to the Berkshires of western Massachusetts; to the house, The Mount, that Edith Wharton and her husband, Teddy Wharton, had built as a country retreat. Above is a photo of The Mount, looking from the courtyard to its main entrance. Credit for the architecture of The Mount is given to Ogden Codman Jr. and to Francis L.V. Hoppin. Edith fired Codman as the exterior architect early on, as she didn't like his designs. He did remain to design the interior spaces. Edith herself was very involved in design decisions, following the precepts expressed her book, The Decoration of Houses, co-authored by Codman.
None of the furniture in these rooms is original. It was chosen based on what was popular at the time, as well as by any accounts surviving of what was there.
Edith and Teddy lived at The Mount for only nine years, from its completion in 1902 until 1911, when Edith separated from Teddy and later moved to Paris. They were divorced in 1913. During their time at The Mount it was hardly a House of Mirth, to refer to one of Edith's more popular novels. Teddy was subject to bouts of severe depression compounded by other health problems. As our guide put it, today he would probably be classified as "bipolar."
Kudos to Louise for putting together a most enjoyable and educational tour.