Edith Wharton (1862-1937)
Mrs Edith Newbold (Jones) Wharton; Gilded Age Pulitzer Prize-Winning Author
She was born at 14 West 23rd Street, New York and spent much of her upbringing in Europe. She became 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 pursued by New York's aristocracy in the Gilded Age. In 1888, she inherited $120,000 from her reclusive cousin, Joshua Jones, a major shareholder in the Chemical Bank who died worth $7-million. This bequest gave her the independence to pursue her dreams as an author. Among the 56 era-defining books she wrote she is perhaps best known for The House of Mirth (1905) and The Age of Innocence (1920). From 1910 to 1920, she returned to Paris leasing 53 Rue de Varenne before moving to 58 Rue de Varenne. After her divorce, she settled permanently in France from 1918, dying there in 1937. Her husband was Teddy Wharton (great-great grandson of Joseph Wharton), she died without children.
Contributed by Mark Meredith on 05/02/2019 and last updated on 22/09/2022.