Edith Wharton was born Edith Newbold Jones to George and Lucretia Jones in New York City on January 24, 1862. She belonged to an aristocratic New York family with ancestry dating back three centuries. As a daughter of society , her role was to learn the mannerisms and rituals expected of well-bred young women in those days.
Walter Gay, an American expatriate artist, who spent much of his life in France, swanning in and out of the finer châteaus and hôtels particuliers and capturing their boiseried glories on paper and canvas. Gay also chronicled chic private homes furnished in the ancien régime French styles popularized at the turn of the century by Francophiles such as interior decorator Elsie de Wolfe and novelist Edith Wharton, two of the many stylish friends of Gay and his wife.