Wharton, Edith

NOVELIST (UNITED STATES OF AMERICA)
BORN 23 Jan 1862, New York - DIED 11 Aug 1937
REAL NAME Jones, Edith
GRAVE LOCATION Versailles, Yvelines: Cimetière des Gonards

Edith Wharton was born Edith Jones during the Civil War. She was a descendant of Ebenezer Stevens, a member of the Boston Tea Party and was raised in the upper class. She married Edward Wharton in 1885 and she would divorce him in 1913 after almost 30 years of marriage because they had grown apart and he had numerous affairs.

After she settled in Paris she hardly visited the US. In France it was easier to be taken seriously for a woman and she developed many intellectual friendships. In Paris she knew people like Anna de Noailles, André Gide and Jean Cocteau. In 1908 she had a brief affair with the journalist Morton Fullerton, a friend of Henry James.

She received the French Legion of Honor because of her philanthropic work during the First World War. In 1920 she was the first woman to win the Pulitzer Prize for her novel "The Age of Innocence".

She wrote many novels and short stories. She also published an autobiography, "A Backward Glance".

Sources
Edith Wharton
• Beyern, Bertrand, Guide des Cimetières en France, Le Cherche Midi Éditeur, Paris, 1994

Images

The grave of Edith Wharton at the Cimetière des Gonards, Versailles. The inscription on the tomb reads "Ave Crux Spes Unica" ("Hail, cross, the one hope") .
Picture by Androom (26 Aug 2001)

 


Wheatley, William

Published: 1 Jan 2006
Last update: 10 Oct 2004