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Former First Lady Laura Bush to speak in Wellesley on Tuesday

Posted by Evan Allen  July 23, 2012 12:30 PM

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Former First Lady Laura Bush will be in Wellesley on Tuesday night to speak at a reception celebrating Edith Wharton, whose novel "The Age of Innocence" won the Pulitzer Prize in 1921.

Bush is the honorary chair of the National Committee for the Edith Wharton 150th Birthday Celebration. Wharton was born on January 24, 1862, and her birthday is being celebrated all year this year, with events highlighting her influence on culture, literature, entertainment and design.

The event is being organized by The Mount, the estate in Lenox that Wharton designed and built from 1901 to 1902, where she wrote Ethan Frome and The House of Mirth, according to a press release from The Mount.

Wharton thought of The Mount as her “first real home,” according to the release. Today, The Mount is a historic landmark and a cultural and literary center that is open to the public.

Wharton was the first woman to win the Pulitzer Prize for fiction, in 1921 for her novel The Age of Innocence.

Bush is one of 175 members of the National Committee, which includes 2011 Pulitzer Prize winner Jennifer Egan, National Book Award winner Joyce Carol Oates, Governor Deval Patrick and Senator John Kerry.

The reception is being held in a private home on Washington Street in Wellesley. It is not open to the public.

The Mount will also be hosting a gala on Nov. 3 honoring Julian Fellowes, creator of Downton Abbey. The gala will be held at the Harvard Club in Boston. For more information, call 413-551-5100. It will be a ticketed event.

Evan Allen can be reached at evan.allen@globe.com

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