Edith Wharton (1862-1937)
Born into a wealthy family of rigid traditional moral rules, Edith Wharton's main theme is the conflict between the rigid traditions of the aristocratic world and the spontaneous wishes and behavior of the single individual who tries to escape the unwritten moral code. Wharton, though realizing the emptiness of this codified scheme, concludes that the stability of the family is more important than disorderly personal passions. Edith Wharton was born in New York City in 1862 into a wealthy and rich family of conservatives in terms of traditions and customs and in strong opposition, therefore, to end the social and economic changes of the post-civil war generations. The old wealthy New York families were faithful to strict conventions and had a particular mentality and morality, spotless and irreproachable outside, but with sins carefully hidden inside. Conformity with this moral code and its rules was inculcated into all its members from an early age. In 1885 she married the Bostonian Edward Wharton, a wealthy banker. The marriage was not happy; they had no children, she separated from her husband in 1911 and was divorced in 1913. She then settled in France, where she spent the rest of her life. She died in 1937 and was buried at Versailles. Moreover Edith Wharton began writing poems and stories as a young girl, but not untill the late 1890s did she embrace a literary career.
- The House of Mirth (1905).
- The custom of the Country (1913).
- Ethan Frome (1911).
- A Backward Glance (1934).