This essay exploring the life lessons I have learned from a research library is included in my most recent book The Modern Salonnière. The 34 other…View More Life Lessons from a Research Library
Tag: Edith Wharton
There are many reasons Edith Wharton is an inspiration to me, not the least of which is the fact she flourished as a writer and she made Paris her home town.
I have written a number of diary entries about the novelist, one of which was a literary adventure to the street Edith Wharton called home in the City of Light, rue de Varenne. Wharton described Paris as being in her blood and I understand the sentiment on a cellular level. Wandering the city’s streets is quite different than scurrying around New York City. This has to do with the scale of the building, the gracefulness of the neoclassical architecture, the warmth of the stone, the slenderness of the streets that pour into boulevards not so grand as to be intimidating to the human form.
Layers peel away to reveal literary history. They become whorls circling back in time through every era—men and women of letters ascending in their times as resolutely as the mansard roofs that loom above the Seine. Rue de Varenne also holds the former chateau of Marguerite de Valois, which now houses the Italian Embassy. Though centuries apart in the eras they inhabited, the addresses these two powerful women called home are across the street from each other.
Each had equally doomed stories where love was concerned, though Margot Valois’s was much more tempestuous than Wharton’s. As I stood on the sidewalk pivoting from one to the other, I wondered if Wharton was ever inspired to delve into the story of Catherine de’ Medici’s daughter given she would have passed by the monarch’s compound untold number of times. If you enjoy dipping back in time like I do, I’d be thrilled if you’d take the time to read some of my other posts on this famous woman writer.
The Fabric of Design
In their introduction to The Decoration of Houses, Edith Wharton and Ogden Codman, Jr., write, “In the middle ages, when warfare and brigandage shaped the…View More The Fabric of Design
A Backward Glance on rue de Varenne
The narrow sidewalks push their black iron batons up out of the ground to protect the buildings hemming them; the rain turns the cobblestones to…View More A Backward Glance on rue de Varenne
This Side of Paradise
I looked forward to meeting Michael Berman during the Spring 2016 High Point Market when he was there to debut his Califolio collection for Theodore…View More This Side of Paradise
It Is Time to Experience More
Experience more. It sounds like a simple directive but how many of us really take the time to savor what is happening right in front…View More It Is Time to Experience More
Narratives That Illuminate Design
Narratives That Illuminate Design If you believe that design-centric coffee table books contain nothing more than visual surveys of portfolios, I am out to change…View More Narratives That Illuminate Design
The Red Carpet Treatment
There is a momentum to writing that, once interrupted, is challenging to reboot. I’ve experienced this first-hand during the past two months as I have…View More The Red Carpet Treatment
Harmony and Proportion
Love of beauty is taste…the creation of beauty is art. -Emerson I’ve been a fan of Alexandra Stoddard since I came across the designer’s book Living…View More Harmony and Proportion
Beatrix Farrand Gardens
Powerful things happen in a garden. Beyond the miracle of riotous color and the vibrancy of burgeoning life, momentous occurrences have transpired on the garden…View More Beatrix Farrand Gardens