Wharton 101

I love random discount stores that schedule a pit stop in their traveling road show in King of Prussia. For a while, there was a huge discount bookstore – I don’t remember its name – and now it’s gone. I stocked up on a bunch of books for less than $3 each.
I had always wanted to read Edith Wharton and I picked up two of her novels on my final trip to the discount emporium – The Age of Innocence and The House of Mirth.
The Age of Innocence was better than I expected. I read it last fall and the ending resonated in a very personal way for me – at least in a many-worlds kind of way.
What I hadn’t known was that The Age of Innocence was Wharton’s ‘apology’ for her brutal criticisms of New York society in The House of Mirth. Also, Wharton received the Pulitzer Prize for The Age of Innocence, the first awarded to a woman.
Edith Wharton was known for her design skills and her house, The Mount, was built in 1902 by her design principles. She wrote many of her novels there.
While living in France after her divorce in 1913, she was permitted to travel to the front lines of the war. She wrote about what she saw in a series of articles Fighting France: From Dunkerque to Belfort.
Edith Wharton died in 1937 in France. She wrote 22 novels, countless short stories and several non-fiction books.
Martin Scorcese directed a version of The Age of Innocence in 1993.
Gillian Anderson played Lily Bart in a 2000 version of The House of Mirth. (Not so sure if I support that casting choice.)

2 thoughts on “Wharton 101

  1. Avoid it at all cost. I read the House of Mirth and then saw Gillian Anderson destroy the Lily I had in my head and tore her to pieces. And don't get me started on the rest of the cast.
    I'm upset already!

    A cool thing you might want to follow up on is her friendship with Henry James.


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