Mirth and Laughter


Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Happy Birthday, Edith Wharton!

The lovely Edith was born 144 years ago today.
Since she is one of my favorite authors, I thought I would honor her in my blog.

Edith was born in 1862 to wealth and privilege. Her family was part of Manhatten's high society, and accordingly, she married into wealth. However, she had an unhappy marriage and suffered from anxiety and depression.

This didn't stop her from writing some of the most beautiful books in the English language--The Age of Innocence, for which she won a Pulitzer Prize in 1921, Ethan Fromme, and one of my favorites House of Mirth. Her lush, gorgeous prose is full of irony and wit. Her books mainly portrayed the social conventions of the Gilded Age and showed how women were trapped in their circumstances.

She herself broke free, divorcing her husband and settling in Europe. Aside from her brilliant fiction, she wrote publications that she sent back to the U.S. urging them to enter into WWI. She also went to the front lines to visit troops, led a committee to aid refugees, and created hostels and schools for them. And for women who had no other means, she established work rooms so they would have employment. She was a woman raised to live in luxury, but she turned her back on convention and lived a life filled with meaning and purpose.

Happy Birthday, Edith! You rock!


  • At 10:24 AM, Blogger Honey said…

    Happy Birthday, Edith! :)

  • At 6:08 AM, Blogger Jos. said…

    I love this woman's work! She was so ahread of her time. Thanks for the wonderful post, E.

  • At 6:35 AM, Blogger Kristen said…

    A woman ahead of her time.

    Thanks, E.

    I wonder how many writers she's inspired just by reading her works?

  • At 7:53 AM, Blogger Ellen said…

    I think you're right, she was ahead of her time and inspired many.

  • At 6:18 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Where did you find it? Interesting read » »


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