Armistice and Withdrawal: 1918



the final year of the war, 1918, found wharton withdrawing more and more from administrative and fund-raising duties with the charities. Several of the relief organizations (for example, the American Hostels for Refugees) had been turned over to the American Red Cross. Those that remained under her direction—the convalescent homes—were increasingly looked after by Elisina Tyler. Wharton insulated herself from petitioners by turning all of her correspondence over to secretaries, who pleaded Mrs. Wharton’s latest illness to excuse her from public appearances or her injured wrist to explain unanswered letters. Meanwhile she sought closer emotional ties with Bernard Berenson and a new friend, Ronald Simmons. Even before the Armistice she had decided to move from Paris to the suburbs. And with the arrival of the delegates to the Peace Conference and many Americans in Paris, she retreated further and further into a private emotional and geographical space.


Trust Fund American Soldier American Troop American Officer Injured Wrist 
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  1. 22.
    Robert H. Ferrell, Woodrow Wilson and World War I, 1917–1921 (New York: Harper & Row, 1985), 125.Google Scholar
  2. 23.
    Wharton (per secretary) to the secretary of the War Relief Board, November 19, 1917, Yale. Some of Wharton’s prickliness over correct forms of address may have been simple snobbery. Berenson’s secretary/companion Nicky Mariano described a scene where Wharton refused a verbal invitation to join Marie-Laure de Noailles for lunch: “Edith declared that an invitation sent by word of mouth was an insult to her and that it should have been a written one. This was clearly Gaillard Lapsley’s doing. He had anyhow little use for the Noailles and, being a rigid upholder of protocolled behaviour, had persuaded Edith to refuse the invitation. It was an easy thing to do as she had a sort of complex about not being treated as an equal by French titled society.” Nicky Mariano, Forty Years with Berenson (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1966), 177.Google Scholar
  3. 25.
    See Shari Benstock, No Gifts from Chance: A Biography of Edith Wharton (New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1994), 279; and R.W.B. Lewis, Edith Wharton: A Biography (New York: Harper & Row, 1975), 362.Google Scholar
  4. 29.
    Stephen Longstreet, We All Went to Paris: Americans in the City of Light (New York: Macmillan, 1972).Google Scholar
  5. 30.
    The Collected Short Stories of Edith Wharton, vol. 2, ed. R.W.B. Lewis (New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1968), 362. The satire was not collected by Wharton in any of her volumes of short stories during her lifetime.Google Scholar
  6. 39.
    Arline Boucher Tehan, Henry Adams in Love (New York: Universe Books, 1983), 264.Google Scholar
  7. 90.
    Edith Wharton, A Backward Glance, (New York: D. Appleton and Company, 1934), 359.Google Scholar
  8. 100.
    R.W.B. Lewis, Edith Wharton: A Biography (New York: Harper & Row, 1975), 411.Google Scholar

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© Alan Price 1996

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