(This post on The Mount Library and Den has been edited and updated in 2022)
Our tour of Edith Wharton’s home in the Berkshires, The Mount, continues onto Teddy’s Den and Edith’s Library.
Despite the fact that there was both a Den that belonged to Teddy (EW’s husband) and a Library for Edith, the word at The Mount is that EW did not actually do her writing in the Library. (Our gal did most of her writing in bed apparently, papers flying!)
The Main Floor Gallery, which I wrote about here, leads directly into Teddy W’s Den.
The Den, where Teddy kept his office, was designed by Ogden Codman, Jr., EW’s co-writer on The Decoration of Houses. While the Den is not currently “decorated”, it does boast some exquisite plasterwork and a gorgeous marble fireplace with mirror and classically inspired overmantle. The doors on either side lead out to the terrace on the side of the house. The room is so bright and lovely!
The door hardware was imported from France. Le sigh… C’est si joli, non ?
A note from Pres. Teddy Roosevelt to EW:
Edith Wharton’s Library sits directly under her bedroom in the rear left corner of the house. She believed that the books in a library should be the primary focus and provide a decorative element and that the book cases should be recessed into the walls, not free standing. While she has been photographed at her writing table in the library, she was most likely to write in bed and use the library for study and entertaining close friends with readings. The most exciting part of this room is that her book collection was returned to The Mount in 2006. This was the one room that was roped off – no peeking through the books! When the house was decorated a few years ago, the library was done by Lady Henrietta Spencer-Churchill. The rendering in the Centennial Celebration program book shows a room with significantly more furniture, so it’s clear that much as been removed. Some of the pieces here may be hold-overs, however, I’m not really sure.
EW at her desk. The paneled door over her left shoulder in the image below is likely the door to TW’s Den. It has the same molding detail as the door in the image above
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