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Edith Wharton

Edith Wharton (January 24, 1862 – August 11, 1937), was born Edith Newbold Jones in New York City. One of the Grande Dames of American letters, everything about her, from her wealthy background to her stately demeanor suggests a woman in possession of herself. However, beneath the surface was a deep insecurity about her talent and abilities, one she gradually overcame — in a very substantial way.

Most of us have heard the expression “Keeping up with the Joneses,” but it might come as a surprise that this doesn’t refer to a hypothetical family, but  Edith Wharton’s parents. Born into the rarified late nineteenth-century world of wealth and privilege, her formative years consisted of riding, balls, coming-out parties, teas, and extended stays in Europe.

Despite having homes in New York City and Newport, and the kind of money that gained them access to the finer things in life, culture and learning weren’t particularly valued by her family. And though she lacked for nothing, it was a less-than-ideal upbringing for a bookish, dreamy girl. Read More→

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