Zeena goes away to see a doctor, so Ethan and Mattie are left alone for the first time. Stars Dominic Mafham and Laurel Lefkow.
Zeena goes away to visit a Doctor and Ethan and Mattie are left alone together for the first time.
Ethan Frome ..... Dominic Mafham
Mattie ..... Jessica Raine
Zeena ..... Laurel Lefkow
Andrew Hale ..... Paul Moriarty
Edith Wharton ..... Fenella Woolgar
written by Edith Wharton
Dramatised by Lin Coghlan
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' which explores her own sexless marriage and a passionate affair that begun when she was 47.
First broadcast on BBC Radio 4 in January 2012.