Why does Ethan Frome have a limp? And what is the tragedy that befell him years earlier?
by Edith Wharton
Dramatised by Lin Coghlan
Why does Ethan Frome walk with a limp?
And what is the tragedy that befell him over twenty years earlier?
A visitor to the town attempts to find out.
Ethan Frome....Dominic Mafham
Denis Eady....Christopher Webster
Post Mistress....Adjoa Andoh
Andrew Hale....Paul Moriarty
Edith Wharton....Fenella Woolgar
Directed by Sally Avens
Ethan Frome is one of Edith Wharton's most enduring and powerful stories.
Set against the cold, grey, bleakness of a New England winter. Ethan Frome scrapes a living from his woodlot whilst trapped in an unhappy marriage with his hypochondriac wife, Zeena. A ray of light enters Ethan's life when his wife's cousin Mattie arrives to help. His life is transformed as he falls in love with Mattie but their fate is determined by their circumstances and the stifling conventions of the time.
Ethan Frome was deemed shocking when first published as it appeared to condone infidelity. What many readers did not know was that many of the novella's themes mirrored real events in the life of Edith Wharton. Her own story is told in an accompanying play 'The Jinx Element' that transmits on Saturday 21st January and explores her own sexless marriage and a passionate affair that begun when she was 47.