Tuesday, February 21, 2012

The 150th Birthday of Edith Wharton and A Reflection on Her Most Famous Works

Edith Wharton was a privileged woman who was born in New York. She grew up surrounded by the elite of society. Her books act as commentaries on society at the time, often becoming critical, especially of New York's literary society. She spent much of her life in the US, until she no longer could deal with the hypocrisy and debauchery of American society and permanently relocated to France.

There was a recent article in The New Yorker highlighting Edith Wharton, her life and her work and how each of her characters reflect her life. It's a small tribute in and of itself to the great writings of Edith Wharton, who is most known for The Age of Innocence, House of Mirth, and The Custom of the Country. These three books in particular show proof that Wharton didn't take an extreme liking to New York society, despite her upbringing. Though it's her most popular books that keep her relevant and well known, it's her lesser known works like Summer, The Decoration of Houses, and The Descent of Man and Other Stories that truly show the depth and versatility of her talent as a writer. Happy 150th Edith!

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