The ‘Poetry of Old Roofs’: Edith Wharton and the Art of Architecture

Document Type


Publication Date


Journal / Book Title

Image & Narrative


Known internationally for novels such as The House of Mirth (1905) and The Age of Innocence (1921), New York-born Edith Wharton (1862-1937) began her writing career as a poet in 1878 with a self-published volume of Verses. She equated the work of architects and garden designers to that of poets in travel essays from the 1890s and early 1900s, many of which were collected and republished under the titles Italian Villas and their Gardens (1904), Italian Backgrounds (1905), and A Motor-Flight Through France (1908). The present article explores the aesthetics of writing, architecture, and home design in the earliest part of Wharton’s career in order to better understand her poetic vision.

Journal ISSN / Book ISBN


Book Editor(s)

Bertrand Bourgeois and Clemence Regnier

Published Citation

“The ‘Poetry of Old Roofs’: Edith Wharton and the Art of Architecture.” « Habiter en Poète » à travers le monde : configurations poétiques de l’espace intime (xixe-xxie siècles), special issue of Image & Narrative, vol. 23, no. 3, 2022, coedited by Bertrand Bourgeois and Marie-Clémence Régnier, pp. 67-85.