Edith Wharton in the Magazine Popular Science

Edith Wharton

I’ve gotten used to seeing Edith Wharton’s name all over the place but when I found out she’d popped up in the magazine Popular Science, I really had to check it out.

Before I hit the link, I took some guesses on what her scientific connection might be. One possibility: She was intrigued by Charles Darwin and his hot new theory on evolution. Another: She was an avid gardener so maybe botany was involved.

I should have known both these guesses were far too obvious and I should have remembered that Edith is always full of surprises. Read the article to find out why in the world Edith made Popular Science.

An interesting note on the photo in the article and this post: When I showed that particular photo to my Brave Escape of Edith Wharton editor, she didn’t want to use it because she thought it made Edith look “scared.” Edith was afraid of ghosts as a child and she claimed a bout with typhoid fever planted a vague fear deep in her psyche but “fearful” is not a word I tend to associate with Edith Wharton.

The Brave Escape of Edith Wharton

By Connie Nordhielm Wooldridge


Edith Wharton, author of Ethan Frome, The House of Mirth, and other acclaimed novels, was born into a wealthy New York City family during the Gilded Age. In fact, she was a Jones of “keeping up with the Joneses” fame.  This anecdote opens Woodridge’s biography of an astonishing life.  Beginning in childhood, Edith found ways to escape from society’s and her family’s expectations and follow an unconventional, creative path. Unhappily married and eventually divorced, she surrounded herself with the cultural creatives of her day, mostly male friends.  To escape the obligations of New York City high society, she spent much of her life in Paris and was recognized by the French government for her work establishing four charities during World War I. Her literary and personal life, her witty and incisive correspondence, her fondness for automobiles and small dogs–all are detailed in this vibrant account of a woman well ahead of her time.  Includes photographs, a bibliography, source notes, and an index.

Connie Nordhielm Wooldridge, Author

Connie Nordhielm WooldridgeBiography | View

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