Edith Wharton

(24 January 1862 – 11 August 1937 / New York City / United States)

Edith Wharton Quotes

  • ''We who knew him well know how great he would have been if he had never written a line.''
    Edith Wharton (1862-1937), U.S. author. Letter of condolence, March 1, 1916, written the day after James's death. The Letters of Edith Wharton (1988).
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  • ''After all, one knows one's weak points so well, that it's rather bewildering to have the critics overlook them & invent others.''
    Edith Wharton (1862-1937), U.S. author. letter, Nov. 19, 1907, following the publication of The Fruit of the Tree. The Letters of Edith Wharton (1988).

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Best Poem of Edith Wharton

A Failure

(She Speaks.)


I MEANT to be so strong and true!
The world may smile and question, When?
But what I might have been to you
I cannot be to other men.
Just one in twenty to the rest,
And all in all to you alone, -
This was my dream; perchance 'tis best
That this, like other dreams, is flown.


For you I should have been so kind,
So prompt my spirit to control,
To win fresh vigor for my mind,
And purer beauties for my soul;
Beneath your eye I might have grown
To that divine, ideal height,
Which, mating wholly with your own,
Our equal ...

Read the full of A Failure

A Grave

Though life should come
With all its marshalled honours, trump and drum,
To proffer you the captaincy of some
Resounding exploit, that shall fill
Man’s pulses with commemorative thrill,
And be a banner to far battle days
For truths unrisen upon untrod ways,
What would your answer be,
O heart once brave?

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