Edith Wharton – The House of M

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Edith Wharton was born as Edith Newbold Jones in an aristocratic family in the city of New York. Wharton had no formal education but she was privileged enough to use her father's library and was privately educated at home by governesses and tutors. She was expected to learn the social etiquette and conduct herself as a well-bred woman. She exhibited her creative talents from her childhood. Even before she could read she made up stories and later as an adolescent she wrote stories and novellas. At the age of twenty-three Wharton married Teddy Wharton. But their marriage was not a successful one for Teddy could not match Edith in her intellectual or artisitic interests. Apart from her career as a writer Wharton had a very important role to play as a social matron.During thefirst World War Wharton untiringly worked for the refugees in Paris.She also opened hostels and workhouses for women who had no support.However Wharton was dissatisfied as a wife and a society matron She lived in Paris till her death. She returned to United States only once and that was to accept the Pulitzer prize for her novel The Age of Innocence. Wharton authored about forty books and during her lifetime she enjoyed the company of writers like Hemmingway Theodre Roosevelt and Henry James. The writer Henry James immensely influenced Wharton .
The House of Mirth was published in 1905 when Wharton was forty-three years old. Wharton primarily depicted the materialistic society in which she lived. She is best known for her portrayal of people and places in her works. In this novel she gives us a glimpse of the rich and materialistic New York upper class society, a subject she was well acquainted with. She wrote in A Backward Glance, " There was before me in all its flatness and futility, asking to be dealt with as the theme most available to my hand, since I have steeped in it from infancy." The novel is unique because Wharton is not pretending to kn…