Edith Wharton - Little, Brown Book Group

Edith Wharton



Edith Wharton was born in 1862 in New York, and later lived in Rhode Island and France. Her first novel, The Valley of Decision, was published in 1902, and by 1913 she was writing at least one book a year. During the First World War she was awarded the Cross of the Legion d'Honneur and the Order of Leopold. In 1920, The Age of Innocence won the Pulitzer Prize; she was the first woman to receive a Doctorate of Letters from Yale University and in 1930 she became a member of the American Academy of Arts and letters. She died in 1937.
Virago

Ethan Frome

Edith Wharton
Authors:
Edith Wharton

The setting for this piercing New England novel is the aptly named Starkfield, where, despite violently blue skies, the chill of cold and snow seems also to settle inside the hearts of the people who live there. Tethered to his farm, first by helpless parents, later by his querulous, hypochondriac wife Zeena, Ethan Frome ekes out a bare subsistence. Then Zeena's cousin, the impoverished, enchanting Mattie Silver comes to work for them, and, in Mattie, Ethan's hopes and dreams are rekindled. Yet theirs is a forbidden love, hemmed in by Zeena's presence. The impossible intensity in which the three exist has devastating consequences...

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The Custom Of The Country

Edith Wharton
Authors:
Edith Wharton
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The House Of Mirth

Edith Wharton
Authors:
Edith Wharton

First published in 1905, THE HOUSE OF MIRTH shocked the New York society it so deftly chronicles, portraying the moral, social and economic restraints on a woman who dared to claim the privileges of marriage without assuming the responsibilities.Lily Bart, beautiful, witty and sophisticated, is accepted by 'old money' and courted by the growing tribe of nouveaux riches. But as she nears thirty, her foothold becomes precarious; a poor girl with expensive tastes, she needs a husband to preserve her social standing and to maintain her in the luxury she has come to expect. Whilst many have sought her, something - fastidiousness or integrity- prevents her from making a 'suitable' match.

Virago

The Children

Edith Wharton
Authors:
Edith Wharton

On a cruise ship between Algiers and Venice Martin Boyne, a bachelor in his forties, befriends a band of ebullient, precocious children. The seven Wheater stepbrothers and sisters, grown weary of being shuttled between mother and father 'like bundles', are eager for their parents' latest reconciliation to last. They are kept together as a 'family' by the eldest, Judith, who takes on the role of protector. Genuinely outraged at the plight of the 'homeless' and fought-over children, Boyne finds himself increasingly drawn to their enchanting, improper and liberating ways. Among the colourful cast of characters are the Wheater adults, who play out their own comedy of marital errors; the flamboyant Marchioness of Wrench; and the vivacious fifteen-year-old Judith Wheater, who captures Martin's heart. With deft humour and touching drama, Wharton portrays a world of intrigues and infidelities, skewering the manners and mores of Americans abroad.

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The Mother's Recompense

Edith Wharton
Authors:
Edith Wharton
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Old New York

Edith Wharton
Authors:
Edith Wharton

Edith Wharton (1862-1937), the grande dame of American literature, was also a subtle and spirited critic of its society.These novellas, set in the New York of the mid-1800s are united by Edith Wharton's compassionate and ironic vision. From Lewis Raycie, son of complacent plutocrats, who returns from his Grand Tour with Renaissance masterpieces only to be ridiculed and disinherited, to Lizzie Hazeldean, seen leaving a hotel with a man who is not her husband - honourable but unconventional people are sacrificed to the constraints of a society where appearances count for more than genuine goodness. Here is a fascinating insight into the world from which Edith Wharton came.

Virago

Madame De Treymes

Edith Wharton
Authors:
Edith Wharton

Franny Frisbee is an unhappily married woman. Having left New York to live in Paris with the family of her husband, the Marquis of Malrive, she embarks on an adventure in Paris with her childhood friend John Durham, who wishes her to divorce her husband and marry him. Through Franny's crisis between her rights as a woman and what is best for her family, Edith Wharton explores the clashing cultures of Parisian and American life and the role of women at the turn of the century in this moving novel of love and scandal for an American woman abroad.

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The Ghost Stories Of Edith Wharton

Edith Wharton
Authors:
Edith Wharton
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Hudson River Bracketed

Edith Wharton
Authors:
Edith Wharton

Naïve young writer Vance Weston, convalescing by the Hudson River, meets Halo Spear and is fired by her passion for literature. They meet again, much later, and, with her rich, cultivated husband, Lewis Tarrant, she introduces him to New York's literary and artistic circles. But an impulsive marriage has brought Vance poverty and unwelcome responsibilities which inhibit his writing until one summer, Halo inspires him to write the novel which makes his name. The conflict between New York sophistication and Midwestern naivety leads to painful dilemmas, involving both couples in perplexity and loss.

Virago

The Gods Arrive

Edith Wharton
Authors:
Edith Wharton

Halo Tarrant, abandoning her failed marriage, elopes to Europe with the brilliant young writer, Vance Weston. As they travel around, her only wish is to serve him and his genius. But, ignoring the pain her amiguous status brings, Vance takes her loving attentions for granted and rejects the critical advice he had formerly welcomed. This distinguished novel, companion piece to HUDSON RIVER BRACKETED, first published in 1932, shows a writer's struggle for integrity and maturity, and the difficulties which, even in the most idealistic relationship, beset men and women in a changing but hypocritical moral climate.

Virago

The Fruit Of The Tree

Edith Wharton
Authors:
Edith Wharton

John Amherst, clever, idealistic and poor, is assistant manager of a cotton mill and has the makings of a working-class leader. While visiting a worker in hospital he encounters a young nurse, Justine, compassionate and principled, a woman who shares his dreams and aims. But Amherst is fatally distracted when he meets Bessy. A widow of great wealth, Bessy is charming, beautiful - and the new owner of the mill. The lives of all three become strangely interwoven as Amherst is forced to choose between sense and sentiment, between his care for the working classes and his infatuation with Bessy - a woman made for passion, but not for its aftermath.

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The Age Of Innocence

Edith Wharton
Authors:
Edith Wharton
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Roman Fever

Edith Wharton
Authors:
Edith Wharton

A collection of beautifully-crafted short stories. They are set in Italy, France and America and are powerful portraits of women who live in 'the world of propriety' at the turn of the century. They tell of the emotions women feel: in love, in jealousy, when they long for children or seek independence - and when their passions lead them to overstep the bounds laid down by exacting conventions. We see too what happens to those strong enough to break the rules but rarely strong enough to live forever beyond the pale of the society that has banished them.First published in America in 1964, Roman Fever contains some of Edith Wharton's finest writing.

Virago

Twilight Sleep

Edith Wharton
Authors:
Edith Wharton

A portrait of 1920s New York society. 7.30 Mental uplift. 7.45 Breakfast. 8 Psychoanalysis. 8.15 See cook . And so begins another day in the elegant, langorous world of the Manford family around whom this ironic and amusing study of a family drama revolves.

Virago

The Reef

Edith Wharton
Authors:
Edith Wharton

Anna Leath is a young widow, an American living in France. Behind her lies an arid marriage and a life deeply influenced by the rigid code of Old New York. Ahead lies new hope: a chance encounter in London with George Darrow, the first love of her youth, has left her awakened, disturbed. Anna returns to her beautiful country chateau to await her future: between two short distances can anything happen to disrupt such promise? But the charming Sophie Viner, governess to Anna's young daughter, holds the key to a secret which comes to reveal that Anna's future - and the very foundation of her life - is fragile where it appears most strong.