Edith Wharton (1862-1937) was an American novelist and short story writer. Her works show the lives of people of the late nineteenth century, the times of decline in American history. She was the first woman to receive the Pulitzer Prize for Literature in 1921. Wharton also was familiar with many famous people of the time, including President Theodore Roosevelt. "The House of Mirth" is a novel that tells the story of Lily Bart, an impoverished woman from the high society of New York City. While raised with expensive tastes, is reaching thirty, an age when her youthful appearance is almost gone, and her finances are limited. Now she needs to find a husband who can keep her in luxury to which she is accustomed.