Edith Wharton (1862-1937)

Mrs Edith Newbold (Jones) Wharton, Gilded Age Author

Associated Houses

The Mount


Pavillon Colombe


Land's End


Mary Mason Jones Mansion

1 East 57th Street, Manhattan

She was the unequivocal Queen of Gilded Age Literature and the first woman to win the Pulitzer Prize for Literature (1921). Born into old money and privilege, she observed firsthand - and with disdain - the idle and unintellectual lives led by the rich in New York's Gilded Age. In 1888, she inherited $120,000 from her recluse and miserly cousin Joshua Jones, whose overall estate in Chemical Bank shares was worth some $7 million. This bequest gave her the independence to pursue her dreams as an author. Among the 56 books she wrote, she is best known for The House of Mirth (1905) and The Age of Innocence (1920) etc., etc. She also owned the Sainte-Claire du Chateau as her spring and winter home in France.
Contributed by Mark Meredith on 05/02/2019 and last updated on 27/05/2022.