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Innocent pleasures

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The US Institute for the Study of Classical Architecture is holding a two-day celebration next month to mark the centenary of The Classically Inspired Interior, by Edith Wharton. Better known as a novelist (The Age of Innocence), Wharton received her first royalty cheque ($39.60) for this book, co-written with Ogden Codman. Wharton's biographer, R W B Lewis, describes Codman as a 'cultivated, congenial and somewhat effeminate architect', and the book as one of 'elegant snobbery'. Colin Rowe, incidentally, likes to quote Wharton, writing to a friend about America in the 1890s: 'In the landscape no foreground; in the mind no background.'

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