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About the Author

Edith Wharton was born Edith Jones on January 24, 1862, to a wealthy New York City family. Best known for her novels, Wharton’s illustrious literary career also included poetry, short stories, design books, and travelogues. She gained widespread recognition with the 1905 publication of The House of Mirth, a darkly comic portrait of New York aristocracy. In 1921, she won the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction for her novel The Age of Innocence (1920), becoming the fi rst woman to claim it. Wharton moved to France in 1913, where she remained until her death. In addition to her many literary accolades, Wharton was awarded a French Legion of Honor medal for her humanitarian efforts during World War I. Edith Wharton died on August 11, 1937. Kristin O. Lauer is Associate Professor of English at Fordham University.  Her publications include Edith Wharton: The Contemporary Reviews (with James Tuttleton and Margaret P. Murray) and Edith Wharton: An Annotated Secondary Bibliography (with Margaret P. Murray).  Her psychological study, Gallery of the Damned: The Inner World of Edith Wharton's Women, is forthcoming.  She has published psychological essays on George Eliot, Henry James, and Edith Wharton.
Cynthia Griffin Wolff is Class of 1922 Professor of Humanities at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.  She is the author of A Feast of Words: The Triumph of Edith Wharton, Emily Dickinson, and Samuel Richardson and the Eighteenth-Century Puritan Character.  She has edited many literary works, including Short Fiction of Major American Women Writers: Jewett, Chopin, Wharton, and Cather; Four Works by American Women Writers; and Edith Wharton's Summer, The House of Mirth, The Custom of the Country, and The Touchstone.  Her essays and articles have appeared in many journals in the United States and Canada.

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