Edith Wharton: Vol 1. Collected Stories:1891-1910

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Overview

"With this volume (a companion to Collected Stories 1911-1937), The Library of America presents the finest of Wharton's achievement in short fiction, drawn from the more than eighty stories she published over the course of her career. Here, in settings familiar and exotic, are all of Wharton's characteristic qualities and themes: her candid exploration of relations between the sexes; her satire, sometimes gentle, sometimes despairing, of social class and its distinctions; her keen-eyed observation of the minutiae of character; her unflinching
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Overview

"With this volume (a companion to Collected Stories 1911-1937), The Library of America presents the finest of Wharton's achievement in short fiction, drawn from the more than eighty stories she published over the course of her career. Here, in settings familiar and exotic, are all of Wharton's characteristic qualities and themes: her candid exploration of relations between the sexes; her satire, sometimes gentle, sometimes despairing, of social class and its distinctions; her keen-eyed observation of the minutiae of character; her unflinching recognition of the power of conventional morality and the limits of passion, tempered by her delightful sense of play."--BOOK JACKET.
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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
Arguably our greatest novelist of manners, Wharton (The House of Mirth) evoked the glittering heights and the decadent lows of New York society at the turn of the 20th century. However, it was with her short stories and her novellas that the author honed her technique and her sharp social satire. These two volumes offer a glimpse into Wharton's development as a writer and provide perfect companions to the Library of America's Edith Wharton: Novels (1986) and Edith Wharton: Novellas and Other Writings (1989). Volume 1 opens with her first published story, "Mrs. Manstey's View," and contains the novellas "The Touchstone" and "Sanctuary." These early stories include Wharton's characteristic social satire and her keen insights into sexual relationships. Volume 2 features the novellas "Roman Fever" and "Bunner Sisters," as well as several of her stories about World War I, including "The Marne" and "Writing a War Story." These stories capture Wharton's mastery at characterization and the maturity of her reflections on society. Novelist Howard (Grace Abounding) selected the contents and wrote the notes for each volume. These elegant editions provide a convenient collection of Wharton's stories. An essential purchase. Henry L. Carrigan Jr., Lancaster, PA Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781883011932
  • Publisher: Library of America
  • Publication date: 1/28/2001
  • Series: Library of America Series
  • Pages: 928
  • Sales rank: 1,128,466
  • Product dimensions: 5.18 (w) x 8.18 (h) x 1.19 (d)

Meet the Author

Edith Wharton
One of America's most important novelists, Edith Wharton was a refined, relentless chronicler of the Gilded Age and its social mores. Along with close friend Henry James, she helped define literature at the turn of the 20th century, even as she wrote classic nonfiction on travel, decorating and her own life.

Biography

Edith Newbold Jones was born January 24, 1862, into such wealth and privilege that her family inspired the phrase "keeping up with the Joneses." The youngest of three children, Edith spent her early years touring Europe with her parents and, upon the family's return to the United States, enjoyed a privileged childhood in New York and Newport, Rhode Island. Edith's creativity and talent soon became obvious: By the age of eighteen she had written a novella, (as well as witty reviews of it) and published poetry in the Atlantic Monthly.

After a failed engagement, Edith married a wealthy sportsman, Edward Wharton. Despite similar backgrounds and a shared taste for travel, the marriage was not a success. Many of Wharton's novels chronicle unhappy marriages, in which the demands of love and vocation often conflict with the expectations of society. Wharton's first major novel, The House of Mirth, published in 1905, enjoyed considerable Literary Success. Ethan Frome appeared six years later, solidifying Wharton's reputation as an important novelist. Often in the company of her close friend, Henry James, Wharton mingled with some of the most famous writers and artists of the day, including F. Scott Fitzgerald, André Gide, Sinclair Lewis, Jean Cocteau, and Jack London.

In 1913 Edith divorced Edward. She lived mostly in France for the remainder of her life. When World War I broke out, she organized hostels for refugees, worked as a fund-raiser, and wrote for American publications from battlefield frontlines. She was awarded the French Legion of Honor for her courage and distinguished work.

The Age of Innocence, a novel about New York in the 1870s, earned Wharton the Pulitzer Prize for fiction in 1921 -- the first time the award had been bestowed upon a woman. Wharton traveled throughout Europe to encourage young authors. She also continued to write, lying in her bed every morning, as she had always done, dropping each newly penned page on the floor to be collected and arranged when she was finished. Wharton suffered a stroke and died on August 11, 1937. She is buried in the American Cemetery in Versailles, France.

Author biography from the Barnes & Noble Classics edition of The Age of Innocence.

Good To Know

Upon the publication of The House of Mirth in 1905, Wharton became an instant celebrity, and the the book was an instant bestseller, with 80,000 copies ordered from Scribner's six weeks after its release.

Wharton had a great fondness for dogs, and owned several throughout her life.

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    1. Also Known As:
      Edith Newbold Jones Wharton (full name)
    1. Date of Birth:
      January 24, 1862
    2. Place of Birth:
      New York, New York
    1. Date of Death:
      August 11, 1937
    2. Place of Death:
      Saint-Brice-sous-ForĂȘt, France

Table of Contents

Mrs. Manstey's View 1
The Fulness of Life 12
The Lamp of Psyche 23
The Valley of Childish Things, and Other Emblems 42
The Muse's Tragedy 50
A Journey 65
The Pelican 76
Souls Belated 95
The Twilight of the God 123
A Cup of Cold Water 136
The Touchstone 162
The Duchess at Prayer 234
The Angel at the Grave 254
The Recovery 271
The Rembrandt 290
The Moving Finger 307
Sanctuary 323
The Descent of Man 394
The Mission of Jane 414
The Other Two 433
The Reckoning 454
Expiation 476
The Lady's Maid's Bell 499
The House of the Dead Hand 520
The Introducers 548
The Hermit and the Wild Woman 578
The Last Asset 601
The Pretext 633
The Pot-Boiler 662
The Best Man 689
His Father's Son 714
The Daunt Diana 731
The Debt 744
Full Circle 758
The Legend 782
The Eyes 810
Afterward 830
The Letters 861
Chronology 901
Note on the Texts 920
Notes 924
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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 22, 2010

    Lovely Collection

    This is a fine collection of Wharton's early short stories. It is fascinating to watch her evolution, from a perhaps overly sentimental writer given to allegory to a keen, satirical critic of sharply rendered victims of New York society. Throughout she maintains her desperate love for beauty and deep sense of pathos. Even in her earliest story, you can see her honing her skills. However, if you are just looking for the best of Edith Wharton's short stories, I recommend the collection edited by Anita Brookner. These stories definitely vary in quality. But if you're a Wharton addict like me, you'll really appreciate this.

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