Shakespeare wasn’t the only wordsmith ahead of his time. Dive into classics like Pride and Prejudice, Frankenstein, and almost anything by Virginia Woolf and you’ll find wit and sarcasm that challenged the status quo.
Perhaps one of the most prolific of these writers was Edith Wharton. A Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist and short story writer, Wharton was nominated for the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1927, 1928, and 1930 (GURL POWER!). Her insider’s view of America’s privileged classes was the inspiration she needed to write humorous and insightful novels about social and psychological insight.
Her most famous novel, The Age of Innocence, won her the Pulitzer Prize in 1921, making her the first woman to win the award. A novel about the morals of 1800’s society, The Age of Innocence challenges views on love and passion. TAOI was one of 15 novels Wharton wrote in her lifetime, in addition to seven novellas, 85 short stories and a large collection of poetry and essays.
On August 11, 1937, Wharton died of a stroke in her home in Paris. As a genuine woman of words, Wharton has left us with a large collection of brilliant thoughts, only some of which are listed below. To celebrate this powerful woman of literature, here are 15 great quotes by the wonderful Edith Wharton.
15 Great Quotes by Edith Wharton
“Ah, good conversation – there’s nothing like it, is there? The air of ideas is the only air worth breathing.”
“There is one friend in the life of each of us who seems not a separate person, however dear and beloved, but an expansion, an interpretation, of one’s self…the very meaning of one’s soul.”
“In spite of illness, in spite even of the archenemy sorrow, one can remain alive long past the usual date of disintegration if one is unafraid of change, insatiable in intellectual curiosity, interested in big things, and happy in small ways.”
“The real marriage of true minds is for any two people to possess a sense of humor or irony pitched in exactly the same key, so that their joint glances on any subject cross like interarching searchlights.”
“Half the trouble in life is caused by pretending there isn’t any.”
“I want somehow to get away with you into a world where…we shall be simply two human beings who love each other, who are the whole of life to each other; and nothing else on earth will matter.”
“In every heart there should be one grief that is like a well in the desert.”
“True originality consists not in a new manner, but in a new vision.”
Looking for a new book to read? Check in every Friday for a “Bee Happy” post, where I share reviews of books I’ve read or other book-themed lists.