Edith Wharton 1862-1937. 14 West 23rd Street, Manhattan. This was the childhood home of Edith Jones Wharton, one of America's most important authors, at a time when 23rd Street marked the northern boundary of fashionable New York. Here, in her father's extensive library, young Edith Jones discovered the world of literature. Wharton wrote with authority on gardens and design, but was most celebrated for her fiction. Her novels and stories are characterized by her intelligence, perception and the great beauty of her prose. She revealed the life of the soul with courage and clarity. Wharton lived in France for the latter part of her life, but the complex world of patrician New York remained the source of her greatest fiction. This includes The House of Mirth (1905) and The Age of Innocence, for which, in 1921, she became the first woman to win the Pulitzer Prize for Literature.