60 Edith Wharton Quotes from the American Novelist

Born as Edith Newbold Jones in 1862 in New York, Edith Wharton was a renowned American author known for her insightful portrayal of upper-class society, her birth circle.

She belonged to a prominent New York family and was educated by private tutors, both domestically and in Europe.

Edith began writing after marrying Boston banker Edward Wharton in 1885. Inspired by Henry James, her literary mentor, Wharton’s initial contributions were poems and stories to magazines in the 1890s.


Edith Wharton is the author of ‘The Age of Innocence’ and ‘The House of Mirth’. The Age of Innocence (1920) that won her a Pulitzer Prize and the grim narrative of Ethan Frome (1911) set in New England farm life.

Her other significant writings range from short stories to reportage from World War I, from novels to her autobiography, A Backward Glance (1934).

Wharton moved to France in 1907, divorcing her husband in 1913 and maintained a close friendship with novelist Henry James during his twilight years.

Over her lifetime, she published over 50 books, encompassing diverse genres.

Below you will find the best quotes by Edith Wharton.

Best Edith Wharton Quotes


Silence may be as variously shaded as speech. ~ Edith Wharton.


To know when to be generous and when firm – that is wisdom. ~ Edith Wharton.


He was a man who grew fat on resentment as others did on happiness. ~ Edith Wharton.


Society soon grows used to any state of things which is imposed upon it without explanation. ~ Edith Wharton.


The only way not to think about money is to have a great deal of it. ~ Edith Wharton.


My little old dog, a heart-beat at my feet. ~ Edith Wharton.

When people ask for time, it’s always for time to say no. Yes has one more letter in it, but it doesn’t take half as long to say. ~ Edith Wharton.


I’d almost say it’s the worries that make married folks sacred to each other. ~ Edith Wharton.

In every heart there should be one grief that is like a well in the desert. ~ Edith Wharton.

Famous Edith Wharton Quotes

I’ve always shrunk from usurping the functions of Providence, and when I have to exercise them I decidedly prefer that it shouldn’t be on an errand of destruction. ~ Edith Wharton.


True originality consists not in a new manner but in a new vision. ~ Edith Wharton.

Her mind was an hotel where facts came and went like transient lodgers, without leaving their address behind, and frequently without paying for their board. ~ Edith Wharton.

An education is like a crumbling building that needs constant upkeep with repairs and additions. ~ Edith Wharton.

I want to do for you and care for you. I want to be there when you’re sick and when you’re lonesome. ~ Edith Wharton.


Life’s just a perpetual piecing together of broken bits. ~ Edith Wharton.

When a man says he doesn’t understand a woman it’s because he won’t take the trouble. ~ Edith Wharton.

Popular Edith Wharton Quotes


Traditions that have lost their meaning are the hardest of all to destroy. ~ Edith Wharton.

Happiness is a work of art. Handle with care. ~ Edith Wharton.

The only thing to do is to hug one’s friends tight and do one’s job. ~ Edith Wharton.


Life is always a tightrope or a feather bed. Give me the tightrope. ~ Edith Wharton.

Beware of monotony; it’s the mother of all the deadly sins. ~ Edith Wharton.

I have never known a novel that was good enough to be good in spite of its being adapted to the author’s political views. ~ Edith Wharton.


One of the great things about travel is you find out how many good, kind people there are. ~ Edith Wharton.

Habit is necessary; it is the habit of having habits, of turning a trail into a rut, that must be incessantly fought against if one is to remain alive. ~ Edith Wharton.

Great Edith Wharton Quotes

But I have sometimes thought that a woman’s nature is like a great house full of rooms… ~ Edith Wharton.


There are two ways of spreading light: to be the candle or the mirror that reflects it. ~ Edith Wharton.

Nothing is more perplexing to a man than the mental process of a woman who reasons her emotions. ~ Edith Wharton.

Set wide the window. Let me drink the day. ~ Edith Wharton.

In any really good subject, one has only to probe deep enough to come to tears. ~ Edith Wharton.

Our blindest impulses become evidence of perspicacity when they fall in with the course of events. ~ Edith Wharton.


I have always lived on contrasts! To me the only death is monotony. ~ Edith Wharton.

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. ~ Edith Wharton.

Top Edith Wharton Quotes


I feel as if I could trust my happiness to carry me; as if it had grown out of me like wings. ~ Edith Wharton.

It’s not a bad thing for a man to have to live his life – and we nearly all manage to dodge it. ~ Edith Wharton.

Oh, the critic who asks for a reprieve has already formed his opinion. ~ Edith Wharton.

It was part of her discernment to be aware that life is the only real counselor… ~ Edith Wharton.


A New York divorce is in itself a diploma of virtue. ~ Edith Wharton.

Life is made up of compromises. ~ Edith Wharton.

The desire for symmetry, for balance, for rhythm in form as well as in sound, is one of the most inveterate of human instincts. ~ Edith Wharton.

Wisdom unfiltered through personal experience does not become a part of the moral tissues. ~ Edith Wharton.

Another unsettling element in modern art is that common symptom of immaturity, the dread of doing what has been done before. ~ Edith Wharton.

Thought-Provoking Edith Wharton Quotes

They seemed to come suddenly upon happiness as if they had surprised a butterfly in the winter woods. ~ Edith Wharton.


Some things are best mended by a break. ~ Edith Wharton.

Old age, calm, expanded, broad with the haughty breadth of the universe, old age flowing free with the delicious near-by freedom of death. ~ Edith Wharton.

Everybody who does anything at all does too much. ~ Edith Wharton.

I wonder, among all the tangles of this mortal coil, which one contains tighter knots to undo, & consequently suggests more tugging, & pain, & diversified elements of misery, than the marriage tie. ~ Edith Wharton.


The visible world is a daily miracle, for those who have eyes and ears. ~ Edith Wharton.

The result of every one’s being in such a hurry to get everywhere was that nobody could get anywhere. ~ Edith Wharton.

If he paid for each day’s comfort with the small change of his illusions, he grew daily to value the comfort more and set less store upon the coin. ~ Edith Wharton.

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 inter-arching searchlights. ~ Edith Wharton.

Profound Edith Wharton Quotes

Only the fact that we are unaware how well our nearest know us enables us to live with them. ~ Edith Wharton.


Life is the saddest thing there is, next to death. ~ Edith Wharton.

Genius is of small use to a woman who does not know how to do her hair. ~ Edith Wharton.

I don’t know if I should care for a man who made life easy; I should want someone who made it interesting. ~ Edith Wharton.

There are lots of ways of being miserable, but there’s only one way of being comfortable, and that is to stop running round after happiness. ~ Edith Wharton.

Every dawning talent has to go through a phase of imitation and subjection to influences… ~ Edith Wharton.

So these were the 60 top Edith Wharton quotes and sayings.

If you like these quotes and sayings, then you can also read my other posts on Tallulah Bankhead quotes and Harvey Milk quotes.

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Chandan Negi
Chandan Negi

I’m the Founder of Internet Pillar - I love sharing quotes and motivational content to inspire and motivate people - #quotes #motivation #internetpillar