Welcome to my tour of Edith Wharton (1862-1937) for this month’s Classics Circuit. I read two books written by Edith Wharton for this tour: The House of Mirth (read my review) and The Writing of Fiction (read my review). I am really glad I read these books back to back as Wharton’s guide to writing fiction allowed me some valuable insight into her writing.
I am a huge fan of Wharton, not just for her writing, but because she was a woman far ahead of her time. Wharton’s work (which includes more than 40 books including novels, short stories, poetry, and non-fiction) typically explores the morality of the wealthy and elite, women’s rights, and the need for order in society. She was criticized for her dark portrayal of the upper classes which included revealing their moral decay and superficiality. Wharton won the Pulitzer Prize for literature for her novel The Age of Innocence in 1920, and became the first woman to receive an honorary doctorate from Yale.
I was very lucky to be able to visit Wharton’s home in the Berkshires last spring. I met up with a group of book friends from Library Thing and toured the estate and gardens. You can read my extensive post and view the photos about that trip here. The photo to the right may be enlarged by clicking on it.