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Edith Wharton Letter

An inventory of her letter at Syracuse University

Finding aid created by: KD
Date: 16 Jan 2019

Biographical History

Edith Wharton (1862-1937) was an American novelist, designer, and the first woman to win the Pulitzer Prize for Literature in 1921.

Wharton was born in New York to a wealthy family. She travelled a lot in Europe, developing her language skills, and had a private governess who provided a good education. At age 16 she published her first work, Verses, a volume of poetry. She married Edward Robbins (Teddy) Wharton in 1885. The two lived in Newport where she honed her design skills and writing, publishing non-fiction books on design and architecture. In 1901 Wharton bought a large property in Lenox and designed and built her home, The Mount. In 1911 Edith and Teddy divorced due to Teddy's mental instability and Edith moved to France. When World War I broke out, Wharton created a network of support with charitable and humanitarian organizations. After the war she lived the rest of her life at the Chateau Ste.-Claire, writing with great success and receiving numerous honors, including an Honorary Doctorate from Yale University. She died in France on August 11, 1937.

Adele Kneeland (1856-1937) was a distant relative of Ogden Codman, the American architect and interior decorator with whom Wharton co-authored her first design book, The Decoration of Houses. According to Edith Wharton's Lenox, by Cornelia Brooke Gilder (2017), Wharton and Kneeland became friends when Codman, who worked with Wharton, was commissioned to design a new reception room at Kneeland's grandfather's house.

Scope and Contents of the Collection

The Edith Wharton Letter is a single page letter written by Wharton to Adele Kneeland.

Arrangement of the Collection

Single item


Access Restrictions:

The majority of our archival and manuscript collections are housed offsite and require advanced notice for retrieval. Researchers are encouraged to contact us in advance concerning the collection material they wish to access for their research.

Use Restrictions:

Written permission must be obtained from SCRC and all relevant rights holders before publishing quotations, excerpts or images from any materials in this collection.

Subject Headings


Wharton, Edith, 1862-1937.


Authors, American.
Novelists, American.
Women authors, American.

Genres and Forms


Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

Preferred citation for this material is as follows:

Edith Wharton Letter
Special Collections Research Center,
Syracuse University Libraries

Acquisition Information


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