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(b New York, Jan 24, 1862; d Pavillon Colombe, nr Paris, Aug 11, 1937).

American writer . She was born into a wealthy New York family and was educated privately; she travelled widely, settling in France in 1907. Her first book was The Decoration of Houses (1898), written in collaboration with the Boston architect Ogden Codman (who had remodelled her home at Newport, RI, in 1893). Their aim was to raise the standard of decoration in modern houses to that of the past through a return to ‘architectural proportion’ and an avoidance of the ‘superficial application of ornament’. Each room should be furnished for comfort and according to its use and should be organically related to the rest of the house and the quality of life to be expressed. The work was successful and influential among both the public and such decorators as Elsie De Wolfe and William Odom. Wharton’s house in Lenox, MA, the Mount, built to her design from 1901...