1922 Encyclopædia Britannica/Wharton, Edith

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WHARTON, EDITH [Newbold Jones] (1862- ), American writer, was born in New York City in 1862. She lived much in Italy and France. She married Edward Wharton, a Boston banker, in 1885. She began her literary career as a writer of short stories, her first story, “Mrs. Manstey's View,” appearing in Scribner's Magazine in 1891. Her first long novel, The Valley of Decision, appeared in 1902, the scene being Italy toward the close of the seventeenth century. Her novel, The House of Mirth, appeared in 1905 and was highly successful. In 1908 it was translated into French by Paul Bourget, who called it the greatest American novel. It was dramatized with the help of Clyde Fitch, but had slight success. After the outbreak of the World War she edited in 1915 The Book of the Homeless, sold for the benefit of Belgian refugees; and later for services she was made a chevalier of the Legion of Honour of France. Her works include The Greater Inclination (1899); The Touchstone (1900); Crucial Instances (1901); Madame de Treymes (1907); The Fruit of the Tree (1907); The Hermit and the Wild Woman (1908); Tales of Men and Ghosts (1910); Ethan Frome (1911); The Custom of the Country (1913); The Age of Innocence (1920).