I love stories like these in the New York Times today, Wharton Letter Reopens a Mystery. A letter from Edith Wharton shows a writer at work, researching her work and revealing her method. Its fascinating that things like this still come to light.
Did Lily Bart, the heroine of The House of Mirth, intend to commit suicide or not?
I tend to agree with Auchincloss (sorry but I'm not going to spoil the mystery here). But to me the most fasicinating part of the piece is that her ending of The House of Mirth wasn't finished as the beginning was being published serially Scribner’s Magazine.
You can also see the actual letter in a slide show at the New York Times web site above, which is really cool