Saturday, October 8, 2011

Edith Wharton



Edith 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 shared 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 America's privileged classes with a brilliant, natural wit to write humorous, incisive novels and short stories of social and psychological insight. She was well acquainted with many of her era's other literary and public figures, including Henry James and Theodore Roosevelt.
In 1885, at 23 years of age, she married Edward (Teddy) Robbins Wharton, who was 12 years her senior. From a well-established Boston family, he was a sportsman and a gentleman of her social class and shared her love of travel, although they had little in common intellectually.] From the late 1880s until 1902, he suffered acute depression, and the couple ceased their extensive travel.  In 1908 her husband's mental state was determined to be incurable and she divorced him in 1913.  Around the same time, Edith was overcome with the harsh criticisms levied by the naturalist writers. Later in 1908 she began an affair with Morton Fullerton, a journalist for The Times, in whom she found an intellectual partner.
In addition to novels, Wharton wrote at least 85 short stories. She was also a garden designer, interior designer and taste-maker of her time. She wrote several design books, including her first published work, The Decoration of Houses of 1897, co-authored by Ogden Codman. Another is the generously illustrated Italian Villas and Their Gardens of 1904. The Age of Innocence (1920) won the 1921 Pulitzer Prize for literature, making Wharton the first woman to win the award.
Wharton was friend and confidante to many gifted intellectuals of her time: Henry James, Sinclair Lewis, Jean Cocteau and André Gide were all guests of hers at one time or another. Theodore Roosevelt, Bernard Berenson, and Kenneth Clark were valued friends as well. But her meeting with F. Scott Fitzgerald is described by the editors of her letters as "one of the better known failed encounters in the American literary annals". She spoke fluent French (as well as several other languages), and many of her books were published in both French and English.
Edith Wharton died of a stroke in 1937 at the domaine Le Pavillon Colombe, her 18th-century house on Rue de Montmorency in Saint-Brice-sous-Forêt, in the département of Seine-et-Oise (78), but now in Val d'Oise (95). The street is today called Rue Edith Wharton. She is buried in the American Cemetery in Versailles, France.

Page from original manuscript of The House of Mirth, in Edith Wharton's hand
Leesah

1 comment:

  1. Hola, quizás os interese saber que tenemos una colección que incluye el relato 'The Other Two' de Edith Wharton en versión original conjuntamente con el relato 'Parson’s Pleasure' de Roald Dahl.

    El formato de esta colección es innovador porque permite leer directamente la obra en inglés sin necesidad de usar el diccionario al integrarse un glosario en cada página.

    Tenéis más info de este relato y de la colección Read&Listen en http://bit.ly/ojRTWA

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