The Decoration of Houses

Overview

The Decoration of Houses, first published in 1897, is a manual of interior design written by Edith Wharton, the famous Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist, and Ogden Codman, Jr., the architect of such famous homes as The Breakers in Newport, Rhode Island. In the book, the authors denounce Victorian-style interior decoration and interior design. Wharton and Codman, who met in Newport, advocated decoration and design with strong architectural wall and ceiling treatments, accentuated by well-suited furniture and rooms ...
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The Decoration of Houses (Barnes & Noble Digital Library)

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Overview

The Decoration of Houses, first published in 1897, is a manual of interior design written by Edith Wharton, the famous Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist, and Ogden Codman, Jr., the architect of such famous homes as The Breakers in Newport, Rhode Island. In the book, the authors denounce Victorian-style interior decoration and interior design. Wharton and Codman, who met in Newport, advocated decoration and design with strong architectural wall and ceiling treatments, accentuated by well-suited furniture and rooms based on simple, classical design principles such as symmetry and proportion with a sense of architectural balance. The Decoration of Houses is a classic work by one of America's most famous writers and one of America's most famous architects.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781429093606
  • Publisher: Applewood Books
  • Publication date: 12/31/2014
  • Pages: 348
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.78 (d)

Meet the Author

Edith Wharton (1862–1937) was an American novelist, short story writer, and designer. Nominated three times for the Nobel Prize in Literature, she received the Pulitzer Prize for The Age of Innocence in 1921. Wharton drew upon her privileged social position to create witty and psychologically insightful novels and short stories.
Ogden Codman, Jr. (1863–1951) was a noted American architect and interior decorator in the Beaux-Arts tradition. His many famous designs include Wharton's residences Land's End and The Mount as well as her Park Avenue townhouse; the Vanderbilts' Newport home, The Breakers; and the Codman-Davis House in Washington, D.C.

Biography

Edith Newbold Jones was born January 24, 1862, into such wealth and privilege that her family inspired the phrase "keeping up with the Joneses." The youngest of three children, Edith spent her early years touring Europe with her parents and, upon the family's return to the United States, enjoyed a privileged childhood in New York and Newport, Rhode Island. Edith's creativity and talent soon became obvious: By the age of eighteen she had written a novella, (as well as witty reviews of it) and published poetry in the Atlantic Monthly.

After a failed engagement, Edith married a wealthy sportsman, Edward Wharton. Despite similar backgrounds and a shared taste for travel, the marriage was not a success. Many of Wharton's novels chronicle unhappy marriages, in which the demands of love and vocation often conflict with the expectations of society. Wharton's first major novel, The House of Mirth, published in 1905, enjoyed considerable Literary Success. Ethan Frome appeared six years later, solidifying Wharton's reputation as an important novelist. Often in the company of her close friend, Henry James, Wharton mingled with some of the most famous writers and artists of the day, including F. Scott Fitzgerald, André Gide, Sinclair Lewis, Jean Cocteau, and Jack London.

In 1913 Edith divorced Edward. She lived mostly in France for the remainder of her life. When World War I broke out, she organized hostels for refugees, worked as a fund-raiser, and wrote for American publications from battlefield frontlines. She was awarded the French Legion of Honor for her courage and distinguished work.

The Age of Innocence, a novel about New York in the 1870s, earned Wharton the Pulitzer Prize for fiction in 1921 -- the first time the award had been bestowed upon a woman. Wharton traveled throughout Europe to encourage young authors. She also continued to write, lying in her bed every morning, as she had always done, dropping each newly penned page on the floor to be collected and arranged when she was finished. Wharton suffered a stroke and died on August 11, 1937. She is buried in the American Cemetery in Versailles, France.

Author biography from the Barnes & Noble Classics edition of The Age of Innocence.

Good To Know

Upon the publication of The House of Mirth in 1905, Wharton became an instant celebrity, and the the book was an instant bestseller, with 80,000 copies ordered from Scribner's six weeks after its release.

Wharton had a great fondness for dogs, and owned several throughout her life.

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    1. Also Known As:
      Edith Newbold Jones Wharton (full name)
    1. Date of Birth:
      January 24, 1862
    2. Place of Birth:
      New York, New York
    1. Date of Death:
      August 11, 1937
    2. Place of Death:
      Saint-Brice-sous-Forêt, France

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments
Introductory Notes
In the American Public Building - The Classical Interior Par Excellence
Text of The Decoration of Houses 1
Color Plates 193
A Portfolio of Pictures of Interiors and Details/Done According to the Canon of The Decoration of Houses 209
Books Consulted 239
The Critical Essays
The Decoration of Houses as a Practical Handbook 243
The Genesis of a Classic 256
The Decoration of Houses as a Basic Text 276
Notes 280
Index 285
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