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Give Me The Tightrope!

Italian Villa In Tuscany

“Life is always either a tightrope or a featherbed. Give me the tightrope.”

—Edith Wharton, Pulitzer Prize-winning American novelist, short story writer, and designer

Edith penned 22 novels, including The House of Mirth and The Age Of Innocence, which won the 1921 Pulitzer Prize  for literature, making her the first woman to win the award. She also wrote 85 short stories and was highly regarded for her books on garden and interior design.

If you would like to try out a different Edith Wharton work, one of her influential design books that is still in reprint today is the beautiful Italian Villas and Their Gardens, originally published in 1904. The book explores over 75 Italian villas, capturing what Wharton calls their “garden-magic” and the intimate relationship between the house, its formal gardens, and the surrounding countryside. Maxfield Parrish created dreamlike illustrations for the book, and it is full of beautiful prose from Edith. If you love Edith, gardens, and Italy (who doesn’t?), then this book is for you.

Italian Villas and Their Gardens: The Original 1904 Edition

Photo: Bill Silvermintz

Afterglow Cosmetics, Inc

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