Lit Loves: Edith Wharton, First Female Pulitzer Prizewinner


Image via Penguin Books Australia

If you don’t know Edith Wharton, here’s the lowdown: She’s best known for her novels. In 1921, she was the first woman to win a Pulitzer with her book The Age of Innocence. She was also nominated from the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1927, 1928, and 1930. Her work has been adapted multiple times — Age of Innocence and Ethan Frome were both adapted to the silver screen in 1993, and her first major novel, The House of Mirth, was adapted in 2000.

She also, to my eternal delight, wrote short stories. Short ghost stories, even. I love ghost stories, and Wharton’s combine her critical cultural eye with a delightful sense of creeping menace. Her posthumous collection The Ghost Stories of Edith Wharton is definitely worth picking up if you’re also a fan of goosebump-inducing literature.

Wharton was born in 1862 in New York City, and later designed her own home, which she called the The Mount, in Lenox, Massachusetts. The estate is a National Historic Landmark, and the house and grounds are open to tour. She later moved to France, where she died and is buried. During her lifetime, she entertained handfuls of famous friends, and was seen as a trendsetter and taste maker. As you can see in the pics below, she was an excellent dresser, and here at ModCloth, you know we have to approve of the pups.



Images via Wikipedia


About Jamie

Jamie loves reading and writing, and she's especially fond of fantasy, science fiction, and horror. She also enjoys RPGs (both tabletop and console), crocheting, baking, and hiking, and she's passionate about unicorns, tea, flannel shirts, novelty socks, and William Shatner.

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  1. Avatar
    robyncareyallgeyer 06/18/2014 at 12:59 pm #

    Jamie, thanks for writing about Edith Wharton. I’m also a big fan. If you are interested in reading about her life, a YA biography came out a couple of years ago, which received a great review in the New York Times. It’s called The Brave Escape of Edith Wharton by Connie Nordhielm Wooldridge. It’s chock full of photos as well. Thanks again!

  2. Avatar
    Jess 06/18/2014 at 9:42 pm #

    Ah! One of my favorite authors. I just finished “The Glimpses of the Moon” by her and highly, highly recommend! Great little write up on such a fabulous woman!

  3. Avatar
    Rebecka McDougall 06/19/2014 at 8:47 am #

    We are so excited to see Edith Wharton mentioned on ModCloth! We are huge fans of the site. If folks want to learn more about Edith or experience her sense of style, you can visit the home she build and designed based on her 1897 style-manual, The Decoration of Houses. The Mount is located in Western Mass. Visit for hours, directions and more Edith info. Thanks ModCloth! Hope you come and visit us.

  4. Avatar
    robyncareyallgeyer 06/20/2014 at 7:50 am #

    Visiting The Mount is on my bucket list! In my previous post, I forgot to include a link to the Edith biography author’s website, She also has a FB page for the book – The Brave Escape of Edith Wharton.

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