Edith Wharton's Social Register

Overview

Edith Wharton's wide reading in the nascent disciplines of anthropology, sociology, and evolutionary theory of her day plays a significant role in her fictions. She understood her world in binary terms of belonging and exile, or spatial boundaries and exclusions, invoking the vocabulary of tribal behavior and Darwinian thought to analyze her own world of paleo-New York and that of the transgressive invaders who threatened it. In linked thematic sections, Claire Preston considers ideas of tribal inclusion and ...

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Overview

Edith Wharton's wide reading in the nascent disciplines of anthropology, sociology, and evolutionary theory of her day plays a significant role in her fictions. She understood her world in binary terms of belonging and exile, or spatial boundaries and exclusions, invoking the vocabulary of tribal behavior and Darwinian thought to analyze her own world of paleo-New York and that of the transgressive invaders who threatened it. In linked thematic sections, Claire Preston considers ideas of tribal inclusion and banishment, buccaneer figures whose money-energy overcomes tribal demarcations, and expatriatism, suggesting that, against the claims of realism, Wharton should in fact be included in the early Modernist canon.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
...sheds new light on the interplay between Wharton's fictional and social milieux. American Literary Realism
American Literary Realism
Sheds new light on the interplay between Wharton's fictional and social milieux.
Booknews
Preston (English, Sidney Sussex College, Cambridge and Cambridge U., England) explores some of the major themes in Wharton's fiction including tribal inclusion and banishment, buccaneer figures whose acquisitive energy overcomes tribal demarcations, and expatriatism. The author asserts that in certain respects, Wharton should be included in the early Modernist canon. Includes some b&w photographs of Wharton and her milieu. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780312225575
  • Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan
  • Publication date: 2/12/2000
  • Edition description: REV
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 244
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.50 (h) x 0.68 (d)

Meet the Author

Claire Preston is Fellow and Lecturer in English at Sidney Sussex College, Cambridge and Newton Trust Lecturer in the Faculty of English at Cambridge University.

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Table of Contents

Tribes
• Outcasts
• Buccaneers
• Expatriates

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