Black and white photograph of American author Edith Wharton.

Edith Wharton

(1862 - 1937)

Having published her first collection of short stories in 1899 in her late thirties, Edith Wharton emerged as one of America’s foremost novelists after the publication of The House of Mirth in 1905. Two years later she moved to France, where she lived until her death. Wharton liked to wake early and write in bed with a pencil, dropping pages on the floor; her secretary typed up the results and had them ready for her the next morning. The Age of Innocence was awarded a Pulitzer Prize in 1921.

All Writing


Edith Wharton’s childhood German tutor, Anna Bahlmann, also taught her English and American literature; Norse, Greek, and Roman mythology; and history, art, and architecture. In 1878 Wharton called Bahlmann her “supreme critic” in a letter. Bahlmann is mentioned only four times in Wharton’s memoir and only once by name. One scholar suggested that Wharton’s “conviction about her intellectual and artistic isolation…compelled her to deny her closeness to her teacher.”

True originality consists not in a new manner but in a new vision.

—Edith Wharton, 1924

Voices In Time

1913 | Central Park

Tacking East

Edith Wharton seeks out the best.More

Time, when it is left to itself and no definite demands are made on it, cannot be trusted to move at any recognized pace. Usually it loiters, but just when one has come to count upon its slowness, it may suddenly break into a wild irrational gallop.

—Edith Wharton, 1905

Issues Contributed