At War with the American Red Cross: 1917



edith wharton entered the third year of the war, 1917, exhausted. Part of her fatigue was due to hurried preparations for a recent auction of art objects, which netted over 300,000 francs for the tuberculosis hospitals. Excusing several weeks of silence, she explained to Sara Norton, “They have rushed by in such a torrent of dull work that I have lost all sense of time, and only know that long ago I used to have friends, and time to write to them.”1 When Minnie Jones wrote about the death of Frederick Whitridge, husband of Wharton’s friend Lucy Arnold Whitridge, Wharton, toughened by the loss of several friends the previous year, responded vaguely that she frequently heard of the deaths of American friends only weeks later.


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© Alan Price 1996

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