The Novelist’s Life
All literary critics and sources that give accounts of Edith Newbold Jones
Wharton’s life seem to agree on the basic facts. Wharton was born in 1862 into a wealthy
family and raised during America’s Guilded Age. “ She was born into the lavish world of
inherited wealth, one which she benefited from greatly. This life of luxury provided
Wharton with a rich source of material which she used to challenge the attitudes of
America’s Guilded Age in her novels” (“World,”p.1). She spent portions of her childhood
growing up in places like Paris, Rome, and London, but received most of her education in
the United States. Wharton exhibited her talents in writing at a very early age. “I cannot remember a time when I did not want to make up stories” Wharton said in her
autobiography (DeCecco, p.1).
In 1885 Edith Wharton married the very well-to-do Edward Wharton and the
couple continued to live in American high society. “However, Wharton’s marriage proved
early on to be an unhappy one, and she was to suffer a series of nervous breakdowns as a
result” (DeCecco, p.1). In order to ease the strains of her marriage, Wharton began to
write again like she did as a child. Her first work was published in 1889; it was a book on interior decorating. Sixteen years later Wharton would write her first best seller, House of Mirth. “In the year 1911, she departed from her usual themes of jealousy, class system, and the condition of women in society to write Ethan Frome , possibly her most famous piece of writing” (DeCecco, p.2). However, “The World of Edith Wharton” disagrees with this fact saying that Ethan Frome was written in the year 1912. Two years later Wharton got a divorce from...
... middle of paper ...
...cters as well as the reader to make a choice between loyalty and true love. In an effort to escape this difficult choice, Ethan’s choice is made for him and
he is forced to live on enduring pain and misery.
DeCecco, Flora. “The Life of Edith Wharton.” Romance Communications January 1998:
1-2. Literary Index. Online. AOL. 5 April 1998.
Erlich, Gloria C. “A Bio-bibliographical note about Edith Wharton.” Edith Wharton
1992: 1-2. English Dept. Sites. Online. AOL. 5 April 1998.
Poepsei, Mark. “Ethan Frome: It’s Better Than You Might Think.” Literary Magazine
February 1998: 1-2. H-G Reviews: Ethan Frome. Online. AOL. 5 April 1998.
Riley, Carolyn, ed. Twentieth Century Literary Criticism. 2 vol. Detroit: Gale
Research Company, 1983.
“World of Edith Wharton.” Arts Feature. Online. AOL. 5 April 1998.
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- Born into a country nearly brand new, American famous writer, and poet Edith Wharton was born into a wealthy family in New York City, 1862. Although Edith was born into the wealthier class of New York, she could never endure the lifestyle. Edith’s writing started around the late 1890’s when she started to realize that the life that she was living was not for her. She married Edwards Robbins Wharton, a Boston banker whom she spent her time with in Rhode Island. Edith traveled to Europe a lot as a child and an adult.... [tags: author, design, experience]
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- Biographical Summary Edith Wharton lived a very interesting life. She had grown up in a relatively high class family. She had some trouble in her relationship though. Most of her novels are written about her past life experiences. Although she did have challenges to face, Edith Wharton ended up extremely well. On January 24, 1862, Edith Wharton was born in New York City. Her parents are George Fredric Jones and Lucretia Stevens Rhinelander. They were descents from English and Duitch colonists who made money banking, real estate, and shipping.... [tags: Edith Waharton Biography]
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