54 Facts About Edith Wharton


Edith Wharton was an American writer and designer.


Edith Wharton was inducted into the National Women's Hall of Fame in 1996.


Edith Wharton was born Edith Newbold Jones on January 24,1862, to George Frederic Jones and Lucretia Stevens Rhinelander at their brownstone at 14 West Twenty-third Street in New York City.


Edith Wharton had two older brothers, Frederic Rhinelander and Henry Edward.


Edith Wharton was baptized April 20,1862, Easter Sunday, at Grace Church.


Edith Wharton was related to the Rensselaers, the most prestigious of the old patroon families, who had received land grants from the former Dutch government of New York and New Jersey.


Edith Wharton was born during the Civil War; however, in describing her family life Edith Wharton does not mention the war except that their travels to Europe after the war were due to the depreciation of American currency.


Edith Wharton rejected the standards of fashion and etiquette that were expected of young girls at the time, which were intended to allow women to marry well and to be put on display at balls and parties.


Edith Wharton wanted more education than she received, so she read from her father's library and from the libraries of her father's friends.


Edith Wharton's mother forbade her to read novels until she was married, and Edith obeyed this command.


Edith Wharton began writing poetry and fiction as a young girl, and attempted to write her first novel at the age of 11.


Edith Wharton was 15 years old when her first published work appeared, a translation of a German poem "Was die Steine Erzahlen" by Heinrich Karl Brugsch, for which she was paid $50.


Edith Wharton's family did not want her name to appear in print since writing was not considered a proper occupation for a society woman of her time.


Edith Wharton published a poem under a pseudonym in the New York World in 1879.


Between 1880 and 1890, Edith Wharton put her writing aside to participate in the social rituals of the New York upper classes.


Edith Wharton keenly observed the social changes happening around her, which she used later in her writing.


Edith Wharton officially came out as a debutante to society in 1879.


Edith Wharton began a courtship with Henry Leyden Stevens, the son of Paran Stevens, a wealthy hotelier and real estate investor from rural New Hampshire.


Edith Wharton decorated Land's End with the help of designer Ogden Codman.


In that year, Edith Wharton began an affair with Morton Fullerton, an author and foreign correspondent for The Times of London, in whom she found an intellectual partner.


Edith Wharton divorced Edward Wharton in 1913, after 28 years of marriage.


Edith Wharton was a garden designer, an interior designer, and a taste-maker of her time.


Edith Wharton wrote several design books, including her first major published work, The Decoration of Houses, co-authored by Ogden Codman.


Edith Wharton wrote many books about her travels, including Italian Backgrounds and A Motor-Flight through France.


Edith Wharton kept a travel journal during this trip that was thought to be lost but was later published as The Cruise of the Vanadis, now considered her earliest known travel writing.


In 1897, Edith Wharton purchased Land's End in Newport, Rhode Island, from Robert Livingston Beeckman, a former US Open Tennis Championship runner-up who became governor of Rhode Island.


In 1902, Edith Wharton designed The Mount, her estate in Lenox, Massachusetts, which survives today as an example of her design principles.


Edith Wharton wrote several of her novels there, including The House of Mirth, the first of many chronicles of life in old New York.


When living there and while traveling abroad, Edith Wharton was usually driven to appointments by her longtime chauffeur and friend Charles Cook, a native of nearby South Lee, Massachusetts.


Edith Wharton was preparing to vacation for the summer when World War I broke out.


Edith Wharton visited the trenches, and was within earshot of artillery fire.


Edith Wharton was a "heroic worker on behalf of her adopted country".


In 1915, Edith Wharton edited a charity benefit volume, The Book of the Homeless, which included essays, art, poetry, and musical scores by many major contemporary European and American artists, including Henry James, Joseph Conrad, William Dean Howells, Anna de Noailles, Jean Cocteau, and Walter Gay, among others.


Edith Wharton proposed the book to her publisher, Scribner's, handled the business arrangements, lined up contributors, and translated the French entries into English.


Edith Wharton kept up her own work, continuing to write novels, short stories, and poems, as well as reporting for The New York Times and keeping up her enormous correspondence.


Edith Wharton urged Americans to support the war effort and encouraged America to enter the war.


Edith Wharton wrote the popular romantic novel Summer in 1916, the war novella The Marne in 1918, and A Son at the Front in 1919.


Edith Wharton lived there in summer and autumn for the rest of her life, spending winters and springs on the French Riviera at Sainte Claire du Vieux Chateau in Hyeres.


Edith Wharton was a committed supporter of French imperialism, describing herself as a "rabid imperialist", and the war solidified her political views.


Edith Wharton returned to the United States only once after the war to receive an honorary doctorate from Yale University in 1923.


Edith Wharton was nominated for the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1927,1928, and 1930.


Edith Wharton was friend and confidante to many prominent intellectuals of her time: Henry James, Sinclair Lewis, Jean Cocteau, and Andre Gide were all her guests at one time or another.


Edith Wharton spoke fluent French, Italian, and German, and many of her books were published in both French and English.


On June 1,1937, Edith Wharton was at her French country home, where she was at work on a revised edition of The Decoration of Houses, when she suffered a heart attack and collapsed.


Edith Wharton died of a stroke on August 11,1937, at Le Pavillon Colombe, her 18th-century house on Rue de Montmorency in Saint-Brice-sous-Foret.


In 1873, Edith Wharton wrote a short story and gave it to her mother to read.


Edith Wharton was very critical of her work and wrote public reviews criticizing it.


Edith Wharton completed "The Fullness of Life" following her annual European trip with Teddy.


Burlingame was critical of this story but Edith Wharton did not want to make edits to it.


In 1901, Edith Wharton wrote a two-act play called Man of Genius.


Edith Wharton collaborated with Marie Tempest to write another play, but the two only completed four acts before Marie decided she was no longer interested in costume plays.


Many of Edith Wharton's novels are characterized by subtle use of dramatic irony.


Edith Wharton's writing explored themes of "social mores and social reform" as they relate to the "extremes and anxieties of the Gilded Age".


Biographer Hermione Lee describes Wharton as having read herself "out of Old New York" and her influences included Herbert Spencer, Charles Darwin, Friedrich Nietzsche, T H Huxley, George Romanes, James Frazer, and Thorstein Veblen.