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. This book is a collection of classic short stories like "The Last Asset, " "The Pretext, " "The Verdict, " and "The Pot-Boiler. "