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News : Entertainment May 20, 2014 - 6:57:25 AM

Author, Lecturer, and Historian to talk on Celebrated Author, Edith Wharton, at the Lockwood-Mathews Mansion Museum

By Lockwood-Mathews Mansion Museum

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Richard Guy Wilson photographed by Ellie Wilson.
Norwalk, CT - On Wednesday, June 11, at 11 a.m., at the Lockwood-Mathews Mansion Museum, 295 West Avenue in Norwalk, CT, Prof. Richard Guy Wilson, will give a talk entitled, Edith Wharton's Gilded Age: Fiction and Architecture. This lecture will explore Edith Wharton's interest in the visual arts and how her houses impacted her fiction. One of the most celebrated American authors, Edith Wharton and her best-known novels—House of Mirth, Custom of the Country, and Age of Innocence—portrayed the complexities of American life during the Gilded Age. A book signing courtesy of Elm Street Books in New Canaan will follow the lecture.

The Mount, photographed by Richard Guy Wilson.
Mr. Wilson will discuss how the author’s novels are filled with descriptions of rooms and about the physical setting being integral to understanding her writing. As Ms. Wharton explained in her 1923 Yale University honorary doctorate talk, “The impression produced by a landscape, a street or a house should always, to the novelist, be an event in the history of the soul.” Her first book, The Decoration of Houses (1897) co-authored with Ogden Codman Jr., still remains one of the most important books written in the United States about the treatment of interiors.

Richard Guy Wilson holds the Commonwealth Professor's Chair in Architectural History at the University of Virginia. His specialty is the architecture, design and art of the 18th to the 21st century both in America and abroad. He has directed the Victorian Society’s Nineteenth Century Summer School since 1979 located first in Boston and Philadelphia and currently in Newport, RI. A frequent lecturer for universities, museums, and professional groups, Wilson has also published widely and has many articles, books, and reviews to his credit. His most recent book, published in 2012, was Edith Wharton at Home: Life at the Mount, which treats the architectural interests and contributions of one of America’s leading writers.

This will be the second in a series of lectures entitled, Lockwood-Mathews Mansion: Seventy-Four Years of Culture - Art, Life, and Love, 1864-1938 by curators and experts in the field of Victorian era material life. The lectures are $25 for members, $30 for non-members per session. Please RSVP by Friday, June 6, 2014. The price includes lecture, lunch and a first floor Mansion tour. Lunch is courtesy of Michael Gilmartin's Outdoor Cookers. The chair of the Lecture Committee is Mimi Findlay of New Canaan. Please contact or 203-838-9799, ext. 4 for a discount package for the six remaining lectures.

The Museum’s 2014 cultural and educational programs are made possible in part by generous funding from LMMM’s Founding Patrons: The Estate of Cynthia Clark Brown, the Museum’s Distinguished Benefactors: Klaff’s, The Xerox Foundation, and The Maurice Goodman Foundation; and LMMM Sustainers: Spinnaker Real Estate Partners.

The Lockwood-Mathews Mansion Museum is a National Historic Landmark. For more information on schedules and programs please visit:, e-mail, or call 203-838-9799.

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