Edith Wharton (; born Edith Newbold Jones; January 24, 1862 – August 11, 1937) was an American novelist, short story writer, and designer. Wharton drew upon her insider's knowledge of the upper class New York "aristocracy" to realistically portray the lives and morals of the Gilded Age. In 1921, she became the first woman to win the Pulitzer Prize for Literature. She was inducted into the National Women's Hall of Fame in 1996.
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I began to see what marriage is for. It's to keep people away from each other. Sometimes I think that two people who love each other can be saved from madness only by the things that come between them — children, duties, visits, bores, relations: the things that protect married people from each other.
I used to say, watching two elderly women crossing the street in flowered hats, holding each other's arms, "Look at those cute old ladies." I didn't mind the stereotypes that pepper movies and television shows. Now old people are no longer cute or mean or silly or wise to me. They are people, in all their broken fullness. Despite the glitches in faculties and functioning, anyone who's lived that long has learned something the rest of us don't know.
Even very recently, the elders could say [to the youths]: "You know, I have been young and you never have been old." But today's young people can reply: "You never have been young in the world I am young in, and you never can be." . . . This break between generations is wholly new: it is planetary and universal.