Rhode Island Archival and Manuscript Collections Online

For Participating Institutions

Edith Wharton letters

Redwood Library and Athenaeum

50 Bellevue Avenue
Newport, RI 02840
Tel: (401) 847-0292
Fax: (401) 841-5680
email: redwood@redwoodlibrary.org

Biographical note

Edith Newbold Jones Wharton (1862-1937), renowned American author, was born on January 24, 1862, into a wealthy New York family. Edith’s family lived between New York and their summer cottage in Newport, Rhode Island. Edith married Edward R. Wharton in 1885 and together they lived between homes in New York, Newport, and Massachusetts until they divorced in 1913.

Edith Wharton used her upbringing as inspiration for her novels and short stories. Throughout her lifetime she published twenty-two novels, eleven collections of short stories, two poetry volumes, four travel books, and an autobiography among other works of non-fiction, articles, and translations. Her most critically acclaimed works include The House of Mirth (1905), Ethan Frome (1911), and The Age of Innocence (1920) for which she won the Pulitzer Prize.

Wharton died at her home in France on August 11, 1937, at the age of seventy-five.