Worlds Colliding, Part III

So I arrive at downtown law firm to take care of a little business; I’ve never been there, I don’t know this firm, and I figure that I’ll be waiting a while, so I’ve brought a book, The Buccaneers, an unfinished novel by Edith Wharton. I open the novel in the waiting room, and read…

Mr. Belmont and Mrs. Wharton

Yes, that’s right, August Belmont and Edith Wharton. Belmont the Jewish immigrant financier arriviste, he who changed his name from the German Schonberg to the French/Italian-flavored Belmont, the parvenu who married into the establishment, taking as his wife Carolyn Slidell Perry, daughter of the Commodore. Wharton the descendant of the great old Dutch New York…