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Edith Wharton

(24 January 1862 – 11 August 1937 / New York City / United States)

Edith Wharton
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Edith Wharton was a Pulitzer Prize-winning American novelist, short story writer, and designer.

Early Life and Marriage

Wharton was born to George Frederic Jones and Lucretia Stevens Rhinelander in New York City. She had two brothers, Frederic Rhinelander and Henry Edward. The saying "Keeping up with the Joneses" is said to refer to her father's family. She was also related to the Rensselaer family, the most prestigious of the old patroon families. She had a lifelong friendship with her Rhinelander niece, landscape architect Beatrix Farrand of Reef Point in Bar Harbor, Maine, and often traveled with Henry James in Europe. Wharton combined her insider's view of ... more »

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Quotations

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  • ''There's no such thing as old age, there is only sorrow.''
    Edith Wharton (1862-1937), U.S. author. "A First Word," A Backward Glance (1934).
  • I am secretly afraid of animals.... I think it is because of the usness in their eyes, with the underlying not-usness which belies it, and is so tragic a reminder of the lost age when we human beings ...
    Edith Wharton (1862-1937), U.S. author; later relocated to France. Part 6. As quoted in Edith Wharton, by R.W.B. Lewis (1975). From a journal entr...
  • ''The American landscape has no foreground and the American mind no background.''
    Edith Wharton (1862-1937), U.S. author; relocated to France. As quoted in Edith Wharton, ch. 9, by R. W. B. Lewis (1985). In a letter written to h...
  • ... how I understand that love of living, of being in this wonderful, astounding world even if one can look at it only through the prison bars of illness and suffering! Plus je vois, the more I am thr...
    Edith Wharton (1862-1937), U.S. author; relocated to France. As quoted in Edith Wharton, ch. 9, by R. W. B. Lewis (1985). In a letter written to h...
  • ''When people ask for time, it's always for time to say no. Yes has one more letter in it, but it doesn't take half as long to say.''
    Edith Wharton (1862-1937), U.S. author. Judith, in The Children, ch. 25 (1928).
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