Queries Page: 2009

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Wharton's mourning in July-October 1910

while researching for a book on american commercial engraving and social stationery i was examining EW's letters to morton fullerton at the harry ransom center recently and found that from march 22 through july but not after october, 1910, she corresponded on mourning stationery with black bordering but no mention of her bereavement.

who would have passed away around then that would give cause for her to use this form of letter paper? there were several, different format.

nancy sharon collins
partner-nancy sharon collins, stationer/collins, LLC adjunct faculty, loyola university new orleans director of special projects, AIGA new orleans nscstationer@earthlink.net



Anna Bahlmann pictures?

I am trying to find out more about Edith's governess and secretary, Anna Bahlmann.  I would like to find a picture of her, if one exists, and would like to know something about her life in Germany before she came to America to work for Lewis Rutherford.  If anyone has information, I'd be very grateful.

Jennie Fields


I’d just like to let Jennie Fields know that the letters of Anna Bahlmann are among the materials held at the Beinecke Library at Yale University.


Accession Number

  Date Entered
    30 Jun 2009

  Call Number
    Mssu (Forstrom)

    Bahlmann, Anna Catherine.

    Letters from Edith Wharton and others, photographs, material relating to war relief efforts during the First World War, and personal papers.

    V. p.



  Physical Description
    4 boxes

  Date of Acquisition

    Yale Collection of American Literature

  Material Type(s)
  archives and manuscripts  (ms)
  photographs  (ph)



Sarah Kogan

The Mount

Where did EW meet Bernard Berenson?

I recently read "Forty Years with Berenson" and a chapter is actually devoted to her in the book.  They were very friendly until her death in Aug/1937, and she visited Berenson at I Tatti often. Similarly the Berensons stayed at Sainte- Claire often around Christmas.  Did they meet in Europe or the US?
Marvin Nussbaum
PS The book, which I own, might be of interest.

Wharton met the Beresons at the Billa La Doccia in Italy in March 1903.  (See Hermione Lee, Edith Wharton, p. 91)

Tarah Demant
Visiting Assistant Professor of English
Mills College
5000 MacArtrur Blvd.
Oakland, CA 9461


TV Version of Ethan Frome

Is the 1960 Dupont Show of Month TV program Ethan Frome available for purchase through any company I needn it for a school project maryraitt421@hotmail.com


The only information we have about what's available is on the FAQ page and the Filmography page. It doesn't look as though this is available.

Mary Mason Jones

I have come across seemingly authoritative sources mentioning Mary Mason Jones as both Wharton's aunt and great aunt. The source of the confusion may be that there are two George Jones': Wharton's parents were George Frederic Jones and Lucretia Stevens Rhinelander (Jones); Mary's sister, Serena Mason married a(nother) George Jones; was he the son of the first GJ? If so, Wharton would be a great niece of Mary. If not, what is the relationship of Serena's GJ?
Can someone enlighten me?
David 2/3/09

Mary Carre Masson 1801-1891 m Isaac Jones 1795-1854. Mary was daughter of John Mason founder Chemical Bank. Isaac was president of the bank They had a daughter Mary Mason Jones who marrier Baron de Troubiand who was a major general in the US army Isaac Jones was brother of Edward Jones 1785-1839 m Elizabeth Schermerhorn. one of their sons was George Frederick Jones, father of Edith

Serena Mason b1804, another daughter of John Mason married George Jones 1800-1887. Among their children was George Alfred Jones m Harriet Coster, and Serena Jones m Henry Fearing.

Translations of Ethan Frome

Can anyone tell me how many different translations Ethan Frome is in?

Gretchen Kifer 2/3/09


Ethan Frome Literary History

I am a graduate student and have been assigned to do a 20 page literary history. I was hoping to do Ethan Frome but need tips on finding this particular sort of information. Can anyone point me in the right direction? Thanks! Gretchen Kifer 2-3-09


Review of The Figure of Consciousness

Was there ever published in The Wharton Review a Book Review on The Figure of Consciousness: William James, Henry James and Edith Wharton by Jill M. Kress??
I received a notice that it would be published, but never saw it in print, and cannot find this review which leads me to believe that it was in fact never published. Thank you.

Constance E. Holmes 2/3/09


If you do not already have a reply to the query "Review of The Figure of Consciousness," Constance E. Holmes' review of The Figure of Consciousness by Jill M. Kress appeared in Volume XX, No. 2 (Fall, 2004) of the Edith Wharton Review and ran on pages 2 and 23.

Dan Hefko



Americans in Pau

I am doing research into Americans who lived in Pau, France in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. The graves of Harriet Duer Jones, her family and Elizabeth Schermerhorn Jones are at the cemetery in Pau, France. I could send you a photo of the grave, if you don't have it.

1. I'm curious whether you have information as to why the Potters lived here full time.
2. I'm curious why Elizabeth Schermerhorn Jones was buried with the Potters, other than Mrs. Potter was her niece. At that time, it wasn't uncommon for one to have their remains moved to a desired burial location. Her place of death is about 400 miles from Pau. Her remains could have just as easily been sent to New York.
3. Do you have any information whether William H. Kane, who also lived here, was related to them. I read an article in the New York Times archives that stated he was a cousin of Caroline Webster Schermerhorn Astor, but haven't been able to confirm it through any other sources.
4. Do you have information regarding Mrs. Wharton's or her aunt's stays here in Pau.
5. William Pollock purchased The Mount from the Whartons in 1911. His sister, Sarah Alpine Pollock (also buried in Pau) and her husband Edward McEvers Livingston had a home in Pau called Villa Clermont. Clermont Manor was the name of the Livingston family home near Germantown, New York. She and her husband also had a home, Osceola Lodge, that is now CliffwoodInn.com in Lenox and not far from The Mount. Do you happen to have any information of any familial relationship between Edward McEvers Livingston and Edith Wharton?

Thank you for your assistance.

David Blackburn 1-9-09

To the question about why E S Jones was buried at Pau and not in NY.

Nothing I have found that explicitly says why but she was a spinster and her brother Edward (Harriet's father) had died by then and while Edith's father, her brother George, may have been in the US, Harriet her niece was in Pau and so may have been closer to her. Harriet went to live in Pau when her husband James Neilsen Potter (brother of Henry bishop of NY) retired there. The Potters lived a comfortable fashionable life moving up to London and Paris for the season. Only one daughter, Elizabeth, married while the other 3 remained based in Pau until their deaths. Some other Potters moved over to Europe also and many of them form both sides of the Atlantic served in the Great War


Edith's parents died in France. George in Cannes 1882 and Lucretia in Paris 1901. Since Elizabeth S Jones's other sister Margaret and brother Joshua didn't marry (died young?), and Harriet was living in Pau, that would suggest that Elizabeth had no close family in the US except maybe Fanny Duer Robinson Jones when she died which may go further to explaining why she was buried in Pau. Fanny Jones was a widow by then.

Edith was not a Livingston but her aunt Fanny Duer (Robinson) Jones was descended for General William Alexander and Sarah Livingston via William Duer and Robinson

if you have photos of the graves of the Jones and Potters at Pau I would be interested in seeing them.



I made a posting in February. I just ran across your response, which said you'd like to see a photo of the grave I'd mentioned. Attached is the photo and the inscriptions on the tomb are as follows:

James Neilson Potter
8/25/1891 Schnectity

Wife : Harriet Duer Jones
NY 8/30/1843
D Aix les Bains 5/3/1913

Henrietta Neilson Potter
NY 7/19/1872
D Grenoble 2/3/1928

Margaret Renshaw Potter
Paris 9/2/1876
Pau 12/8/1950

Catherine Alexander Duer Potter
NY 9/26/1885
Pau 10/15/1969

Fanny Duer Jones
NY 7/3/1829
Paris 1/9/00


Elizabeth Schermerhorn Jones
NY 5/23/45
Lamalou les Bains

David Blackburn


I came across a reference in Eleanor Dwight's book on Edith Wharton that suggests that the reason Americans were going to Europe was that inflation after the civil war ate into their investment income and it was easier to live grandly in Europe. certainly that was the reason she gives for EW's father and maybe that matches for others in the Jones family. In your mails to Irene Harms you may have mixed up the Bagnells 
You can contact me through Donna Campbell or Irene.


I am very interested in David Blackburn's post of January 2009 about Americans in Pau.

I write about Edith Wharton's social circle in Lenox, MA, and there are a number of Lenox families who seem to have wintered in Pau including Teddy Wharton's mother and sister both called Nancy Wharton and his cousin Nancy Wadsworth Rogers and her son Wadsworth. Also the Edward Livingstons of Osceola mentioned in Mr. Blackburns post.

There is a small error in his post about the subsequent owners of the Mount which were a family with New Orleans roots called Shattuck not Pollock, thus there is not a connection there to the Edward and Sarah Pollock Livingston.

I am anxious to know more about this American community in Pau.

Cornelia Brooke Gilder. cbgilder@gmail.com



Please send comments and suggestions to D. Campbell.