Edith Wharton Quotes

Edith Wharton, 1862 – 1937

Born: 24 January 1862, New York City
Died: 11 August 1937, Saint-Brice-sous-For

Born Edith Newbold Jones, some believe that “keeping up with the Joneses” was originally meant as an attempt to keep up with her father’s family. The family traveled extensively so Edith was educated entirely by tutors. She married Teddy Wharton in 1885, they shared a love of travel but apparently not much else. She was a highly regarded landscape architect and interior designer in her time and entertained the cream of New York society in a home of her own design at Lenox, Massachusetts. After her divorce she moved permanently to France, using family connections she had access to the front lines during the war. In 1921 The Age of Innocence won the Pulitzer Prize for literature, making her the first woman to win that award. She suffered several strokes in her last months. During her final illness she continued to write in bed, dropping each page on the floor as she finished it.

Edith Wharton quotes:

A New York divorce is in itself a diploma of virtue.

Edith Wharton
A walk through the Paris streets was always like the unrolling of a vast tapestry from which countless stored fragrances were shaken out.

Edith Wharton

The Reef (1912)
After all, one knows one’s weak points so well, that it’s rather bewildering to have the critics overlook them and invent others that (one is fairly sure) don’t exist – or exist in a less measure.

Edith Wharton

Letter to Robert Grant (19 November 1907)
Ah, good conversation — there’s nothing like it, is there? The air of ideas is the only air worth breathing.

Edith Wharton

The Age of Innocence (1920)
Ah, perhaps it was true — perhaps she did not know how to bear happiness. It took her by the inmost fibers, burned through her like a fever, was going to give her no rest, no peace, no time to steady and tame it in her dancing soul.

Edith Wharton

The Gods Arrive (1932)
‘Ah,’ said Mrs. Peniston, shutting her lips with the snap of a purse closing against a beggar.

Edith Wharton

The House of Mirth (1905)
An unalterable and unquestioned law of the musical world required that the German text of French operas sung by Swedish artists should be translated into Italian for the clearer understanding of English-speaking audiences.

Edith Wharton

The Age of Innocence (1920)
Another unsettling element in modern art is that common symptom of immaturity, the dread of doing what has been done before.

Edith Wharton

The Writing of Fiction (1925)
Archer hung a moment on a thin thread of memory, but it snapped and floated off with the disappearing face.

Edith Wharton

describing a fleeting memory in The Age of Innocence (1920)
As the pain that can be told is but half a pain, so the pity that questions has little healing in its touch.

Edith Wharton

The House of Mirth (1905)
At last it was over, and the theater rang and rang with the grateful applause of the released.

Edith Wharton

The Gods Arrive (1932)
Before Selden left college he had learned that there are as many different ways of going without money as of spending it.

Edith Wharton

The House of Mirth (1905)
Beware of monotony; it’s the mother of all the deadly sins.

Edith Wharton
Blessed are the pure in heart for they have so many more things to talk about.

Edith Wharton

The Children (1928)
But her personality was a little tarnished: she was in want of social renovation. She had been doing and saying the same things for too long a time.

Edith Wharton

“The Last Asset” The Hermit and the Wild Woman (1908)

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