Edith Wharton in the News

OK, we’ve now moved to 79th Street, between Fifth and Madison

In “House of Mirth,” Edith Wharton’s heroine turns a corner and sees grand new houses, “fantastically varied, in obedience to the American craving for novelty.” Americans at the turn of the century felt they had inherited the whole of Western civilization, that it was theirs to do with as they wished.

I asked Mr. David, a social critic of Hollywood mores who has been called “a savage Edith Wharton” by his friend Larry Charles, why all these celebrities seemed so devoid of self-awareness.

“I don’t know, that’s the $64,000 question,” he said. “I guess their instinct is to help, their motives are good, and they don’t consider how it might come off.” But, he added, “I think it’s a complete lack of judgment to talk about your lifestyle at this time, it’s crazy. Of course other people are going to react like that.”

 

Eaton: We are beginning to generate ideas here — ideas that would work for Masterpiece. And then we talk to some of these independent companies and PBS Distribution about their interest in initiating our projects.

“The Buccaneers,” a 1995 miniseries adapted from Edith Wharton’s unfinished novel, followed the adventures of wealthy young Americans who marry into the British aristocracy. (Photo: Joss Barrett/Mobil)

This is the absolute reverse of how things used to work, though it did happen occasionally. We initiated Middlemarch, for instance, years ago. We had the idea, found a writer — Andrew Davies — and brought it to the BBC. And we did this with Edith Wharton’s The Buccaneers, which is one of my favorite pieces of literature. But we weren’t the primary funder of those co-productions.

https://current.org/2020/04/how-rebecca-eatons-tailor-made-role-at-masterpiece-fits-with-a-new-strategy-for-original-dramas/