Edith Wharton was born on 24th January 1862 in an aristocratic family. She was home schooled by private tutors and well groomed by governesses. She got married at the age of twenty to a rich banker, Edward Wharton. Although she got a collection of her poems printed when she was sixteen years old, she began writing vigorously after her marriage in 1885. Her married life was very unhappy. The reason was her husband’s severe condition of acute depression which eventually led to mental disorder.
A naturally gifted storyteller, Wharton wrote notable for their vividness, satire, irony, and wit. Her complex characters and subtly delivered point-of-view make the readingof Wharton's fiction both challenging and rewarding, while her own lifeillustrates the difficulties that a woman of her era had to surmount tofind self-realization. In 1885, when she was twenty-three, she marriedEdward ("Teddy") Wharton. Although from a similar social background,he lacked her artistic and intellectual interests and after nearly 30 yearsof marriage, she divorced him. Wharton eventually settled permanentlyin France, thereafter visiting the United States only rarely. InParis in 1908 she began a briefly fulfilling but ultimately disappointingaffair with Morton Fullerton, a journalist on the anda friend of Henry James. In Paris she found intellectual companionshipin circles where artists and writers mingled with the rich and well-born,and where women played a major role. Considered one of the majorAmerican novelists and short story writers of the 20th century, Edith Whartondied in France in 1937. -- Abby Werlock, President, Edith WhartonSociety
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Edith Wharton was also a talented designer. Her expertise included garden designing and interior designing. She designed and built ‘The Mount’ a home where she lived with her husband for 9 years till she divorced him. She was very fond of travelling. She moved to France after her marriage ended. Because of her strong connections in the French government, she was permitted to travel to the frontline during the First World War. Wharton started her relief work for the refugees and worked unstintingly to provide help in whatever that was possible for her. She set up hospitals for the sick, set up work rooms for the jobless women and founded hostels for the homeless.