Wednesday, March 2, 2011


Lodged in memory: walking past the cross as an 8-year-old with my grandmother in 1962. Again, in the 1970s: running to catch the Orpington train after work (one labored briefly for a summer in a typing pool in Holborn).

In June 1909 Edith Wharton met Morton Fullerton for a sumptuous night of adultery in one of the rooms of the station hotel. (Cue post-coital sound of steam trains.) Then in her forties and unhappily married, the eminently discreet and dignified Wharton experienced with Fullerton (handsome, bisexual, writer-journalist friend of Henry James) a kind of reckless ecstasy she had never felt before. She wrote a poem about the assignation afterwards--'Terminus'--but like the affair itself, it only came to light many years after her death.

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