Overview

Glennard had never thought himself a hero; but he had been certain that he was incapable of baseness.

The story of a young man who scorns the love of a tortured novelist, only to have her words come back to haunt him from the dead, The Touchstone shows off the skills Wharton became famous for in novels such as Ethan Frome and House of Mirth, particularly her piercing and delicious talent for satiric observation. But despite its masterly ...
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The Touchstone

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Overview

Glennard had never thought himself a hero; but he had been certain that he was incapable of baseness.

The story of a young man who scorns the love of a tortured novelist, only to have her words come back to haunt him from the dead, The Touchstone shows off the skills Wharton became famous for in novels such as Ethan Frome and House of Mirth, particularly her piercing and delicious talent for satiric observation. But despite its masterly control, this startlingly modern tale is also a simmering, rebel cri de coeur unleashed by a writer who was herself unappreciated in her own time. The combination of these attributes make this edgy novella a moving and suspenseful homage to the power of literature itself.

The Art of The Novella Series

Too short to be a novel, too long to be a short story, the novella is generally unrecognized by academics and publishers. Nonetheless, it is a form beloved and practiced by literature's greatest writers. In the Art Of The Novella series, Melville House celebrates this renegade art form and its practitioners with titles that are, in many instances, presented in book form for the first time.

A young lawyer sells a package of love letters written to him over the years by a distinquished novelist to raise money to pay for his wedding to another woman. His secret comes back to haunt him and, when he confesses to his wife, their marriage is reduced to resigned coexistence.

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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
Wharton's 1900 novel is a money-can't-buy-happiness tale. Down-on-his-luck Stephen Glennard sells a collection of letters from a celebrated dead author. His decision to market the letters gets him money and an entrance into society, but a mystery contained in the missives haunts him. Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781612192413
  • Publisher: Melville House Publishing
  • Publication date: 11/6/2012
  • Series: Art of the Novella Series
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • File size: 2 MB

Meet the Author

Edith Wharton was born Edith Newbold Jones in 1862 in New York City, into a socially prominent family whose wealth came from real estate holdings. She was discouraged from an interest in writing by her mother, who forbid her reading contemporary literature. but in 1878, a family friend passed along some of her poems to Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, who championed them for publication. She went on to maintain an unusual degree of independence despite marrying Edward Wharton, whom she divorced 30 years later. In 1921, she became the first woman to win the Pulitzer Prize (for her novel The Age of Innocence). Wharton died in France in 1937.

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

Foreword vii
The Touchstone 1
Notes 93
Biographical note 95
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