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French Ways and Their Meaning

Overview

Edith Wharton was devoted to the French people and their culture. During the First World War, while living in France and devoting herself to numerous war and relief efforts, she wrote several essays about the French and the unique attributes of their civilization, having in mind particularly the need for both Americans and the English to understand the ways of a people whose nation they were defending in the Great War. These pieces were first published in book form in 1919, under the title French Ways and Their ...
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French Ways and Their Meaning (Barnes & Noble Digital Library)

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Overview

Edith Wharton was devoted to the French people and their culture. During the First World War, while living in France and devoting herself to numerous war and relief efforts, she wrote several essays about the French and the unique attributes of their civilization, having in mind particularly the need for both Americans and the English to understand the ways of a people whose nation they were defending in the Great War. These pieces were first published in book form in 1919, under the title French Ways and Their Meaning.
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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
This volume marks the first in a series of collaborations between the publisher and Edith Wharton Restoration, Inc., a group dedicated to promoting and preserving Wharton's works. A facsimile of the original 1919 edition, this offers her firsthand observations on French lifeas charming as Paris in the springthat she collected when living in the City of Lights.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780936399874
  • Publisher: Countryman Press, The
  • Publication date: 6/1/1997
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 176
  • Product dimensions: 0.41 (w) x 5.00 (h) x 8.00 (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

Introduction
A Note and Suggestions for Further Reading
Preface
I First Impressions 3
II Reverence 20
III Taste 39
IV Intellectual Honesty 57
V Continuity 76
VI The New Frenchwoman 98
VII In Conclusion 122
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