Visiting Edith Wharton’s House (of mirth)

This is the view of the house from the back

Last summer, I took a day trip with my mom to visit the famous author Edith Wharton’s “house” in Lenox, MA. (I say “house,” but in reality it is more like an estate.) It was one of the most beautiful days of the summer and a perfect time to see the gorgeous gardens her estate is known for. The house is gigantic and was built under Edith Wharton’s instructions, so it is magnificent. There’s even a little cafe on the back terrace that serves delicious lemonade and lots of different treats to snack on. My mom and I chose to go on the guided tour of both the house and the gardens, although there are also separate tours of both if you want to look at one or the other on your own time.

The house was phenomenally decorated and had exceptionally beautiful artwork all around. It was also neat to find out many little facts about this famous female author. For instance, apparently she would write in bed for the first few hours of the morning and then get up. One of the floors was turned into a museum type area with walls of informations about Edith Wharton’s life, while on the first floor there was a bookstore selling all of the books she wrote along with some nice memorabilia. Overall, it was an amazing house.

The gardens were my favorite part, mainly because I could imagine Edith Wharton walking around on a similar sunny day 100 years prior to me and taking inspiration from her beautiful surroundings. There were two different gardens on opposite sides of her giant walkway. One was French inspired (my personal favorite one) while the other one was inspired by the Italian gardens. There were so many beautiful flowers to see, although some were not in bloom since it was the middle of summer.

Essentially, to get to the actual house and gardens part of the property, we had to walk through what was basically a park. Now, whoever runs the estate allows artists to put up their sculptures or pieces of artwork along the grass or in the woody areas. Some of them are really cool, while others are just plain weird. They are for sale… for a hefty price. There is also a large building (which in itself looks like a big house) that used to be the stables. As we were leaving, The Shakespeare Company was putting on a Shakespearean play right outside this building on the lawn. So, if you’re looking for a nice day trip, I highly recommend checking out the Edith Wharton house because there is so much to do and see.

Here are some of the many photos I took while visiting:

This is the front view of the house (as you can see, it’s very impressive).
This is one view of the backyard area on the far side of the very large back terrace.
Here I am enjoying some snacks on the back terrace which also has a little cafe
This is the French inspired garden
This is the view of the house from the French garden. If you look closely, you can see the grass stairs.
Here is a panoramic view of the stunning French garden.
I am standing under a trellis in the Italian garden, and a bit farther back there is a pond.
Here is the library.
And here is the dining room table. Edith Wharton did not like to associate with anyone she was not particularly fond of, so her dining room table is small. This way she can have intimate dinners with only the people she liked.

This was such a fun trip, and I would gladly visit again because there is just so much to see. I could spend all afternoon sitting in the gardens they’re so beautiful.

Ciao for now!


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