Benstock, Shari. No Gifts From Chance: A Biography
of Edith Wharton. New York: Scribner's, 1994.
Dwight, Eleanor. Edith Wharton, An Extraordinary
Life: An Illustrated Biography
Lee, Hermione. Edith Wharton (2007)
Lewis, R.W.B., and Nancy Lewis, eds. The Letters
of Edith Wharton. New York: Scribners, 1989.
Lewis, R.W.B. Edith Wharton: A Biography. New York: Harper & Row,
Wharton, Edith. Edith Wharton: Novellas and Other Writings. Notes by Cynthia Griffin Wolff. New York: Literary Classics of the United States, 1990.
Note: This is a brief description of some
events in Wharton's life; it is not a comprehensive bibliography of Wharton's
For detailed information about Wharton's
works, publication dates, and so on, see the books above and
Stephen Garrison's Edith Wharton: A
Descriptive Bibliography (University of Pittsburgh Press, 1990).
The notation MOA means that the link is to the Making of America project at
Note: Titles in smaller type are poems. A single
date (day and month) indicates the first date of book publication for the
||24 January. Edith Newbold Jones is born at 14 West 23rd Street in
New York City to Lucretia Rhinelander Jones and George Frederic Jones.
She is the youngest and only girl of three children. Her two brothers,
Frederic (16) and Harry (11), are much older than she.
20 April. Edith is baptized in Grace Church, New York City. Her godfather is Frederick Rhinelander (Benstock 59).
||The Jones family sets sail for Europe and spend the
first year in Rome. They also travel through Spain.
Jones family lives in Paris at 61 avenue Josephine. In the summer of 1870,
they move on to Bad Wildbad in Germany, where Edith falls dangerously ill
of typhoid fever. By the end of 1870, the family settles in Florence. At
about this time, her portrait is painted by Edward Harrison May.
Wharton at age 5 by Edward Harrison May. Courtesy of the Smithsonian
||June. The family returns to their New York house on West 23rd Street,
after which they move to Newport, Rhode Island, for the summer, like many
wealthy New York families. George Frederic Jones
||During this period, Edith studies French and German as well as other
subjects; as was the custom for well-to-do girls, she is tutored at home.
||Begins to write Fast and Loose, a novella of 30,000 words that
she finishes in January 1877.
||Verses, a collection of her poems, is privately printed; her mother pays for the printing. Among those who see the poems are Henry Wadsworth Longfellow and William Dean Howells, editor of the Atlantic Monthly.
||In 1879, she is
presented to society according to the customs of the day. Her poem "Only a Child" is based on a newspaper story of a child who commits suicide in prison.
"Only a Child," a poem, published in the New York world on May 30, 1879, under the pseudonym "Eadgyth."
Meets Harry Stevens; gossips declare them engaged, although they are not (Benstock 44).
Five of Edith's poems appear in the Atlantic Monthly,
and two appear in the New York World.
from R. W. B. Lewis, Edith Wharton: A Biography. New York: Harper & Row, 1975; Fromm International Publishing, 1985.
Monthly 45 (Mar. 1880): 335.
Failure" Atlantic Monthly 45 (April 1880): 464-65.
Parting Day."Atlantic Monthly 45 (Feb. 1880): 194.
Parting Day" (MOA)
Monthly 45 (April 1880): 548-49.
Monthly 45 (May 1880): 599.
- Travels to southern France with her family.
- 15 March. Father dies in Cannes at the age of 61.
- 19 August.The Town Topics newspaper announces EW's engagement to Henry Leyden Stevens, whose mother, Mrs. Paran Stevens, opposes the match. The engagement is broken off in October at the insistence of
his mother, but Town Topics reports the cause as "an alleged preponderance of intellectuality on the part of the intended bride" (Lee 62). Edith goes to Paris with her mother. Stevens dies in 1885,
and his mother inherits the large trust fund that would have been his had
||Edith spends the summer in Bar Harbor, Maine. She meets Walter
Berry, who will become a close friend and whom she will later call "the
love of all my life," and her future husband, Edward ("Teddy") Wharton (TW).
- January. TW escorts Edith to the Patriarchs' Ball. Their engagement is announced a year later (Lee 75).
- 10 October. Catherine Gross ("Grossie") comes to work for EW as a servant and remains EW's housekeeper until her death in 1933.
- 29 April. Edith marries Edward Wharton in New York City.
- EW becomes acquainted with Egerton Winthrop, who becomes a literary advisor, recommending that she read more systematically "Read slowly, marking important parts in the margins with pencil. Re-read marked parts after finishing a chapter" (Lee 70). He introduces her to Darwin, Huxley, Spencer, Haeckel, and other evolutionary theorists.
||From 1885-1893, the Whartons spend June through February at Pencraig Cottage in Newport and travel to Italy each spring (Benstock 59). Winthrop accompanies them on several of these trips to Italy.
||During this period, Wharton continues her voracious reading and intensive study of art, science, philosophy, and literature
17 February-7 May. The Whartons
travel to the Aegean on a four-month cruise on the Vanadis; her journal of the voyage is discovered and published after her death as The Cruise of the Vanadis (Lee 83).
The Whartons return to New York City, purchasing a townhouse on Fourth Avenue and 78th Street, later 884 Park Avenue. They later purchase the house next door, 882, as a residence for their servants. EW writes to Ogden Codman that she chose the location "on account of the bicycling" in Central Park (Benstock 67).
Monthly 64 (Dec. 1889): 761.Euryalus
Scribner's Magazine 6 (Dec. 1889): 715.Happiness
Last Giustianini" Scribner's Magazine 6 (Oct. 1889): 405-06.
||EW continues to write, but her letters describe her suffering from an
unexplained illness. A story, "Mrs.
Manstey's View," is accepted for publication in Scribner's,
the first of many she will publish in that magazine and others.
||22 May. Teddy Wharton's father, William Craig Wharton, commits suicide at McLean Hospital after suffering from "melancholia" for some years, a disease (now called bipolar disorder) that will plague TW in later years.
Madonna in the Louvre." Scribner's Magazine 9 (Jan. 1891): 74.Botticelli's
Madonna In The Louvre
Sonnet."Century Magazine 43 (Nov. 1891): 113.The
Tomb of Ilaria Giunigi."Scribner's Magazine 9 (Feb. 1891): 156
Tomb Of Ilaria Giunigi
Manstey's View," Scribner's (July 1891)
Sisters," a long story that is not published until 1916 (in Xingu).
Backgrounds" (LA VIERGE AU DONATEUR. and MONA LISA) Scribner's Magazine
12 (Nov. 1892): 550. Two
||The Whartons purchase Land's End, a house in Newport,
and hire Ogden Codman as the interior designer. Edith works closely
with Codman on the design for remodeling the house.
Magazine 14 (Sept. 1893): 287.Chartres
Magazine 13 (Jan. 1893): 91.
||Travel through Tuscany. During her time in Italy,
EW visits Violet Paget ("Vernon Lee"). She also identifies a group
of terra-cotta sculptures as being from the sixteenth-century school of
the Robbias, rather than a work of the seventeenth century. Her essay
chronicling the discovery is published in Scribners ("A
Tuscan Shrine," [January 1895]).
Autumn Sunset" Scribner's Magazine 16 (Oct. 1894): 419.
Magazine 15 (June 1894): 739. Life
||Paul Bourget's Outre-Mer: Impressions of America is published and is a "strong influence" on EW (Lee 97). Bourget and his wife, Minnie, will later become close friends of EW. EW continues her reading about and travels in Italy.
Magazine 49 (Jan. 1895): 391.Jade
Tuscan Shrine" Scribner's (travel essay; January 1895) (MOA)
Eight-month trip to Europe. Autumn and early winter spent in Newport (Benstock 83). EW and TW ride bicycles on "empty Italian country roads" (Lee 90).
||3 December. The Decoration of Houses, written with Ogden Codman, is published and sells surprisingly well. Meets Walter Berry again after a 14-year break in their friendship; Berry helps with the final revision of The Decoration of Houses.
||4 December 1897. The Decoration of Houses. (Scribner's)
- Spring. The Whartons stay in Washington, D.C. for 6 weeks, spending August in Bar Harbor.
- November. Recurrent illnesses throughout the 1890s, including
nausea and spells of bronchitis and other respiratory infections, lead
Edith to treatment in Philadelphia under Dr. George McClellan. According to Benstock, "Available evidence from 1898-1899 casts strong doubt on the popular belief that Edith underwent a formal rest cure of the kind administered by Dr. Weir Mitchell" (94).
- Writes "The Muse's Tragedy," "Souls Belated," "A Coward," and "The House of the Dead Hand."
One Grief." Scribner's Magazine 24 (July 1898): 90.
Magazine 23 (Jan. 1898): 68.
- The Whartons move to Washington, D. C., for four
months before beginning their summer travel with French novelist and critic
Paul Bourget and his wife in northern Italy and Switzerland. In the fall,
seeking a different climate as a possible cure for Edith's illnesses, they
visit Lenox in western Massachusetts.
|25 March. The Greater Inclination (stories)(Scribner's). The first edition of 1,250 copies sells out by June (Benstock 99).
- Edith and Teddy Wharton travel to England and Paris,
where they stay for several weeks and visit Edith's ailing mother. Travel through northern Italy helps Edith to gather material for her historical
novel, The Valley of Decision, which she continues to write after
returning to Lenox from August to October.
- After receiving both criticism
and praise from Henry James for "The Line of Least Resistance," she withdraws
the story from the volume Crucial Instances.
Touchstone (Scribner's Magazine,
March-April; published by Scribner's in book form on 28 April.)
20 August. A Gift from the Grave (London:
The Whartons purchase 113 acres near Lee, Massachusetts.
28 June. EW's mother dies in Paris, leaving EW a trust fund but placing her brothers in control of it. EW's total income from various trusts is about $22,000 per year.
||30 March. Crucial Instances (stories) (Scribner's)
and Vase." Atlantic Monthly 88 (Sept. 1901): 343.
Translates Hermann Sudermann's play Es Lebe das Leben (The Joy
The Whartons move into The Mount, the home they have built in western Massachusetts.
The name derives from the Long Island home of EW's ancestor Ebenezer Stevens.
EW contemplates writing a sequel to The Valley of Decision, which is set in 18th-century Italy. Both Walter Berry and Henry James advise her against this, the latter encouraging her to turn toward "the American Subject" (Lee 111).
Begins a novel called "Disintegration" that she never completes.
||1 March. The Valley of Decision (Scribner's)
(Lee: "February 1902" ).
Lady's Maid's Bell" (Scribner's Magazine, 1902)
Mission of Jane" (Harper's Monthly, 1902)
Reckoning" (Harper's Monthly, 1902)
Quicksand" (Harpers Monthly, 1902)
to Actaeon." Scribner's Magazine 31 (June 1902): 661-62.
Bread of Angels." Harper's Magazine 105 (Sept. 1902): 583-85.
Magazine 31 (Feb. 1902): 180.
in Zante. (1564)" North American Review 175 (Nov. 1902): 625-31.
Tours Italy with TW, traveling from Rome through Tuscany and Lombardy,
part of her research for a series of articles that will appear in The
Century and later as Italian Villas and Their Gardens. By the time she writes Italian Villas, she has visited more than 75 villas and gardens.
Meets art critic Bernard Berenson.
Rides in an automobile for the first time, in Rome (Lee 89).
Begins to write The House of Mirth but does not settle down to writing it in earnest until 1904.
|24 October. Sanctuary (Scribner's)
Dilettante" (Harper's Monthly, 1903)
Venetian Night's Entertainment" (Scribner's, 1903)
Torchbearer." Scribner's Magazine 33 (April 1903): 504-05.
||Purchases her first automobile (Panhard-Levassor)
and with TW travels to the south of France.
May. Visits Henry James in England and returns to The Mount in the spring (Lee 223).
Undertakes an intense schedule of writing every morning to finish The
House of Mirth in time for its serial publication; completes the
work in March 1905.
March. A sledding accident in Lenox kills a young girl and injures two others, an accident that will become a source for Ethan Frome.
||30 April. The
Descent of Man, and Other Stories (Scribner's)
Descent of Man" (Scribner's Magazine, 1904)
Other Two" (Collier's Weekly, 1904)
Letter" (Harper's Monthly, 1904)
Last Asset" (Scribner's Magazine, 1904)
Pot-Boiler" (Scribner's Magazine, 1904)
2 November. Italian Villas and Their Gardens
- January. The House of Mirth begins its 11-month serial run in Scribner's Magazine. Published in book form in October, it is a bestseller; by the end of the year, "140,000 copies had been printed" (Benstock 150). It stays on the bestseller list into 1906.
- June. Henry James vists the Whartons at The Mount.
- November. EW begins writing The Fruit of the Tree.
The House of Mirth (Scribner's)
Best Man" (Collier's, 1905)
29 April. Italian Backgrounds (Scribner's)
- Mid-March. The Whartons leave for Paris. They live with her brother Harry at 3 Place des Etats-Unis at first, and then they rent 58 Rue de Varenne from George Vanderbilt. The Whartons stay in this house during the winters for 1907 and 1908.
- Collaborates with Clyde Fitch on a stage adaptation of The House of Mirth.The play opens in Detroit on September 14 with EW in attendance and at the Savoy Theater in New York on October 22. Its tragic ending drives away audiences.
Hermit and the Wild Woman" (Scribner's Magazine, 1906)
Trust" (Appleton's Booklovers Magazine, 1906)
- EW settles in Paris. She meets Morton Fullerton, a journalist with the London Times.
- March. EW and Henry James tour the French countryside, including George Sand's home, Nohant, for the longest of their "motor-flights" (Lee 227).
Madame de Treymes (Scribner's)
(Lee: August 1906 ).
19 October. The Fruit of the Tree
- [Begins love affair with Morton Fullerton; see 1909 entry]
- Writes "Les Metteurs en Scene," "the only story she wrote in French" (Lee 290).
- November. With Henry James, EW travels in England and visits George Meredith at Box Hill. She also stays at great English country houses (Lee 239).
- As had happened with "The Line of Least Resistance," the real-life prototypes of a Wharton story, Ralph and Lisa Curtis, recognize that she has caricatured them in her story "The Verdict" and are furious (Lee 275).
|3 October. The
Hermit and the Wild Woman and Other Stories (Scribner's)
Pretext" (Scribner's Magazine, 1908)
Verdict" (Scribner's Magazine, 1908)
Bolted Door (Scribner's Magazine, 1908)
"The Choice" (Century, November 1908)
"Les Metteurs en scene" (story) in La Revue des deux mondes
10 October. A Motor-Flight Through France.
"The Verdict" (Scribner's)
Essays on travel (Atlantic)
Monthly 102 (Oct. 1908): 501-04.
Over Tyringham." Century Magazine 76 (July 1908): 356-57.
Old Pole Star." Scribner's Magazine 43 (Jan. 1908): 68.
Summer. Affair with Morton Fullerton (Benstock 213, 474). Kenneth Price
and Phyllis McBride date the affair from the spring of 1908 (684); Hermione Lee establishes 1908 and 1909 as the years of their affair.
Writes "Ogrin the Hermit."
Edward Wharton admits to embezzling $50,000 from EW's trust funds but
later makes restitution.
Father's Son" (Scribner's Magazine, 1909)
Daunt Diana" (Scribner's Magazine, 1909)
Debt" (Scribner's Magazine, 1909)
Circle" (Scribner's, 1909)
Souls." Scribner's Magazine 45 (Jan. 1909): 22-23.(poem)
the Hermit." Atlantic Monthly 104 (Dec. 1909): 844-48
17 April. Artemis
to Actaeon and Other Verse (Scribner's)
January. EW moves into an apartment at 53 Rue de Varenne and sells her New York
Begins writing Ethan Frome.
Travels to England in March to see Henry James.
|21 October. Tales
of Men and Ghosts (Scribner's)
Legend" (Scribner's, 1910)
Eyes" (Scribner's, 1910)
Blond Beast "(Scribner's, 1910)
Letters" (Century Magazine, 1910)
Comrade." Atlantic Monthly 106 (Dec. 1910): 785-87.
Dean Howells, promotes Henry James for the Nobel Prize, although the
attempt is unsuccessful.
Ethan Frome (Scribner)
Afternoon (Bodiam Castle, Sussex)." Scribner's Magazine 49 (Mar.
- 16 April 1912. EW signs a contract with Appleton for The Reef, accepting a $15,000 advance (Lee 424).
- Mid-May. EW "begins a five-month series of travels that took her south to Rome and north to London" (Benstock 265). Arrives in England on July 21 and stays nearly 3 weeks, visiting Henry James and the author Vernon Lee.
- 21 June. The Mount is sold for $180,000 (Benstock 271). Although EW had initially been interested in selling The Mount, she was unhappy that TW had sold it without her final approval.
|15 November. The
Reef (D. Appleton)
Seed." Scribner's Magazine 51 (Mar. 1912): p284-91
16 April. A Paris tribunal awards EW a divorce from Edward Wharton.
April.Travels in Sicily with Walter Berry.
May. The Custom of the Country serialized in Scribner's.
29 May. Sees the premiere of Igor Stravinsky's Le Sacre du Printemps
December. Arrives in New York for the wedding of her niece, Beatrix
Jones, to Max Farrand. Beatrix Farrand has a long career as a well-known landscape gardener. Leaves after two weeks because she finds New York “a soul-destroying experience.” (Lee, Hermione (2008-12-24). Edith Wharton (Kindle Location 9136).
Enters negotiations to buy the English estate Coopersale but does not do so.
|18 October. The Custom of the Country
(Scribner's) is published in book form after being serialized in Scribner's Magazine.
March. Drives through Algeria and Tunisia.
July. Tours Spain with Walter Berry and sees the cave paintings at
Visits England and sees Henry James at Rye.
September. Returns to Paris and establishes the American Hostels for
Refugees, raising $100,000 in the first 12 months.
|Scribner's publishes a "ten-volume, low-price collected edition of [EW's] work" (Lee 426).
||Visits the Argonne, Ypres, and Verdun and tours
hospitals. Between February and August, EW makes five trips to the front with Walter Berry (Lee 486). Publishes articles in Scribner's magazine; these are
later collected in Fighting France.
EW works tirelessly to aid the French war effort. She raises funds for refugees, for workrooms to employ women displaced byt the war, and for war charities generally. Among her activities, EW founds the American Hostels for Refugees and the Children of Flanders Rescue Committee, opens a grocery depot in the Rue Pierre-Charron and a clothing depot in the Rue de la Boetie, and opens two sanitoriums for refugees with TB (Lee 477). Her energy seems endless, and she sleeps only 5 hours a night (Lee 478).
Solicits contributions for The Book of the Homeless, a collection of poetry, drawings, essays, and other pieces from distinguished contributors that included Henry James, Paul Bourget, W. D. Howells, Thomas Hardy, Joseph Conrad, and Theodore Roosevelt, among others.
|24 October. Fighting
Dunquerque to Belforte (Scribner's)
Sleep." Century Magazine 90 (Sept. 1915): 736.
"The Hymn of the Lusitania."New York Herald,
7 May 1915: 1.
"The Great Blue Tent." New York Times, 25 Aug.
- 28 February. Death of Henry James, one of EW's closest friends.
- March. EW is awarded the Chevalier de l'Ordre National de la Legion d'Honneur by the French government for her war work and in 1923 is promoted from Chevalier to Officier (Lee 503).
|16 October. Xingu and Other Stories;
Sisters" (Scribner's) and "Kerfol"
The Book of the Homeless
- 15 September-25 October. EW visits Morocco, an experience she will write about in In Morocco (1919) (Lee 513).
- Writes Summer in "a high pitch of creative joy" (Lee 508).
Summer (D. Appleton)
- March. EW purchases Pavillon Colombe in St-Brice (Lee 524), at that time about half an hour out of Paris, and settles there, after renovations, in May 1920 (Lee 525).
- May. EW has the "first of three 'cardiac crises'--minor heart attacks linked to anaemia, which occurred between May and July" (Lee 505).
- July. Receives the Medaille Reine Elisabeth from Belgium (Lee 504)
- Summer. Begins writing A Son at the Front (Lee 600)
|9 December. The Marne. (D. Appleton)
Active Service'; American Expeditionary Force (R. S., August 12, 1918)."
Magazine 64 (Nov. 1918): 619.
- April. EW rents, on a long-term basis, Ste. Claire du Vieux, in Hyères, in the South of France, which she renames Ste-Claire-du Chateau (Lee 539). In 1927, she purchases it for 1,250,000 francs (Lee 546). This will be her winter home for the rest of her life.
- September 1919-March 1920. EW writes The Age of Innocence (Lee 566).
- Takes up the writing of The Glimpses of the Moon (Lee 600), which EW had begun before the war.
|29 August. French Ways and their Meaning
and You; to the American private in the great war." Scribner's Magazine
(Feb. 1919): 152-153.
the Tide." Saturday Evening Post 191, 29 Mar. 1919: 8.
"Writing a War Story" 24 September.
In Morocco (Scribner's)
- Christmas. After supervising renovations during 1919, EW moves in to Ste-Claire-du-Chateau.
The Age of Innocence (D. Appleton)
- EW wins the Pulitzer Prize for her novel The Age of Innocence , the first woman writer to win the prize in this category.
- With EW's old friend Paul Bourget, Joseph Conrad visits EW at Hyeres, and the three make "a day's excursion to the presqu'ile of Giens" (Lee 544). Conrad later uses the incident in The Rover.
- Death of EW's dear friend Sara Norton (Lewis 447).
- Death of EW's brother Harry at Fontainebleau (Lewis 447).
- The Glimpses of the Moon is a huge bestseller, as big as The House of Mirth, selling 100,000 copies in a few months (Lee 632).
The Glimpses of the Moon (D. Appleton)
||9 June. EW sails to New York on the Mauretania (Lewis 451).
20 June. Receives an honorary Doctor of Letters degree from Yale
University, the first woman so honored by Yale (Lewis 453).
26 June. EW sails back to France on the Berengaria and returns
to Pavillon Colombe (Lewis 453).
Finished "The Young Gentleman" and "The Spark";
began work on The Mother's Recompense (Lewis 456).
||7 September. A Son at the Front
||Fall. EW works on The Mother's Recompense, finishing it on November 23.
EW writes articles that will become The Writing of Fiction.
June. Visits Bernard Berenson at I Tatti.
27 July. Hamlin Garland visits EW at her home.
|16 May. Old New York (D. Appleton)
Serial publication of The Mother's Recompense
||March. Sinclair Lewis visits EW at Hyères (Lewis
5 July. F. Scott Fitzgerald visits EW at Pavillon Colombe, a famously
disastrous visit (Lewis 468).
||25 April. The Mother's Recompense (D.
9 October. The Writing of Fiction (essays)
||Elected to the National Institute of Arts and Letters (Lewis 460).
End of March. EW charters the yacht Osprey and takes a 10-week
cruise through the Aegean with Beatrix and Max Farrand, Pearsall Smith,
and Daisy Chanler (Lewis 469).
September. Travels to the Bergamesque in northern Italy with Walter
Berry (Lewis 470).
||23 April. Here and Beyond (stories)
23 October. Twelve Poems (London:
||Winter. Negotiates for the purchase of Ste. Claire le Château,
which will become her winter home (Lewis 472).
Continues to work on a novel,"The Keys of Heaven," about the
case in the 1840s; the book is never completed (Lewis 473).
12 October. Walter Berry dies of a stroke (Lewis 477). EW writes in her diary, "The Love of all my life died today & I with him" (Lee 655).
End of October. EW begins work on The Children.
Attempts by literary figures in the US to promote EW for the Nobel Prize
fail; Henri Bergson is awarded the prize instead
|13 May. Twilight Sleep (D. Appleton) (Lewis gives
the date as "mid-June").
||End of January. Finishes The Children (Lewis 482); begins Hudson
7 February. Teddy Wharton dies (Lewis 480), leaving his estate to his
Spends her annual fortnight in England visiting Robert Norton at Lamb
House (Lewis 483).
May. Takes a trip with Daisy Chanler to Spain.
EW hears that the stage version of The Age of Innocence, adapted
by Margaret Ayer Barnes, with Katharine Cornell as Ellen Olenska,is a
great success (Lewis 487).
EW's best year, financially speaking: she earns $95,387.08 in royalties and advances.
||1 September. The Children (D. Appleton) becomes the
September selection for the Book-of-the-Month Club (Lewis 484).
||Received the Gold Medal of the American Academy of Arts and Letters (Lewis 460).
EW falls seriously ill with fever and does no writing for four months, from January through April
22 October. Finishes Hudson River Bracketed, of which she says,
"I am sure it is my best book" (Lewis 490).
||8 November. Hudson River Bracketed (D. Appleton) (The work appeared
serially in The Delineator--Lewis 492).
||25 January. Begins writing The Gods Arrive (Benstock 421).
Writes "Pomegranate Seed" near the end of the year (Lewis
Autumn. Visits Bernard Berenson at I Tatti (Lewis 496).
Before Christmas. Aldous Huxley, his wife Maria, and Cyril and Jean
Connolly visit EW at Ste. Claire (Lewis 497).
"Wharton's royalties plummeted from $95,000 in 1929 to $5,000 in 1930" (Lee 691).
||21 October. Certain People (stories) (D. Appleton)
||March. Art critic Kenneth Clark visits EW at Ste. Claire, initiating
a friendship betweeen the two.
June. Meets Leon Edel, the biographer of Henry James (Lewis 501).
July. Visits England (Lewis 499); sits at luncheon with H. G. Wells.
Renews her friendship with Morton Fullerton (Lewis 500).
||January. Completes The Gods Arrive (Lewis 501); begins work
on her autobiography, A Backward Glance.
Writes a story, "Joy in the House," that is turned down by
many editors because of its bitter themes (Lewis 506).
May. Visits Rome for a two-week stay (Lewis 509). Becomes more interested
in Roman Catholicism, although she apparently never converts to this religion
||16 September. The Gods Arrive (D. Appleton).
||Threatens to sue The Ladies' Home Journal
when the magazine wants to reduce the agreed-upon payment of $25,000 for
A Backward Glance; the magazine backs down and pays the price (Lewis
Begins work on The Buccaneers (Lewis 507).
EW's housekeeper of nearly 50 years, Catherine Gross, dies after suffering
senile dementia for a period of time (Lewis 514).
EW takes a three-week trip to Holland (Benstock 434).
Praises Theodore Dreiser's An American Tragedy and George Santayana's
The Last Puritan (Lewis 520).
||17 March. Human Nature (stories)(D. Appleton)
||January. EW working on The Buccaneers.
Novelist Louis Bromfield visits EW at Ste. Claire.
September. EW tours Scotland and visits London.
||27 April. A Backward Glance (autobiography) (Appleton-Century)
||11 April. EW suffers a stroke (Lewis 519) but is
walking and riding in automobiles by the end of May.
Lewis dates "Beatrice Palmato" from the summer of 1935 and
says that it was "planned as the first story in a volume to be called
'The Powers of Darkness'" (526). Lee dates it to between 1918-1923 based on entries in one of Wharton's notebooks (586).
Zoe Akins's version of The Old Maid is a success at the Empire
Theater in New York; it wins the Pulitzer Prize for Drama (Lewis 529).
||First week of January. Owen and Donald Davis's adaptation
of Ethan Frome opens in Philadelphia, with Raymond Massey as Ethan,
Pauline Lord as Zeena, and Ruth Gordon as Mattie Silver (Lewis 529).
||The World Over (Appleton-Century) (stories)
||Last completed story, "All Souls," is
sent to Wharton's agent in February 1937 and is published posthumously
1 June. "On 1 June [EW] has a heart attack and had to be taken home to St-Brice in an ambulance" (Lee 747). EW summons her friend Elisina Tyler, who cares for EW and keeps a diary of EW's last days.
9 July. The doctors "told Elisina there was no hope, and she noted 'twitching in left side, sudden drooping of the eyelid, weakness in walking a few steps'--suggesting that a stroke may have followed on from the heart attack" (Lee 748).
7 August. "the doctors decide to bleed" EW, which is ineffective, and EW suffers a stroke.
11 August. Wharton dies at 6 in the evening (Lewis 531) or "at about 5:30 p.m." (Lee 748). Her last words, according to Elisina Tyler, are "I want to go home" (Lee 749). After a funeral on Saturday, 14 August 1937 at 11:00 a.m., at the Protestant Cemetery at Versaille, EW was buried
at Cimetière des Gonards in Versailles, France (Lee 751).
||Ghosts (Appleton-Century) (published in October 1937 [Lee 459])
||16 September. The Buccaneers (Appleton-Century)
Fast and Loose (1977)
Thanks to Dr. Jamie Barlowe of the University of Toledo for corrections and
additions to the information on Wharton's publishers.
errors of fact here are my own and do not represent the work of the Wharton
Society. Please send corrections and suggestions to D. Campbell.