Edith Wharton, American Novelist (January 24, 1862 – August 11, 1937)
Wharton’s deepest concern was morality. She wrote about the struggle between the body and the mind, that battlefield from which morality emerges. Central to her work are stifled and illicit passions, manifested in divorce, adultery, incest, and illegitimacy. She wrote about the struggle to integrate the life of the emotions within the life of the world. Her writing was stylistically decorous but socially transgressive: her prose is so elegant that her message comes as a shock, like a sword wrapped in satin.—Roxana Robinson
My review of Wharton’s The House of Mirth (1905) is here (the second entry).