“The prolongation of the house”, was how the avid gardener and writer Edith Wharton once described Italian gardens. In addition to her fiction, Edith created 7 homes for herself over the course of her career and wrote several non-fiction books regarding the subject of home. I recently re-read my favorite Edith Wharton novel–not her best maybe, or best known–The Custom of the Country. Undine Spragg is as beautiful and unscrupulous protagonist as they come, and the book still seems perfectly contemporary almost a century later. Still thinking about the novel, I was pleasantly surprised when another book by Ms. Wharton came across my desk. Already enjoying some fame for her fiction, the publisher of Century magazine convinced her to to begin a series of articles titled Italian Villas and their Gardens that would go on to…