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

The Ghost Stories Of Edith Wharton

Edith Wharton
Authors:
Edith Wharton
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...

Virago

The Custom Of The Country

Edith Wharton
Authors:
Edith Wharton

If only I were sure of knowing what to expect!' he caught up at her joke, tossing it back at her across the fascinating silence of their listeners.'Why everything!' she announcedWith the intention of making a suitable match, Undine Spragg and her parents move to New York where her youthful, radiant beauty and ruthless ambition prove an irrestible force. Here Edith Wharton dissects the traditions, pretensions and prohibitions of American and European society - both the ostentacious glitter of the 'nouveau riche' and the faded grandeur of the upper classes - with an eye on all the more exacting for its dispassionate gaze. And in Undine Spragg she has created an unforgettable heroine - a woman taught to dazzle and enslave, but to know nothing of the financial and social cost of the status she so passionately craves.

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The House Of Mirth

Edith Wharton
Authors:
Edith Wharton
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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
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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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Hudson River Bracketed

Edith Wharton
Authors:
Edith Wharton
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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.

Virago

The Age Of Innocence

Edith Wharton
Authors:
Edith Wharton

Set in turn-of-the-century New York, Edith Wharton's classic novel The Age of Innocence reveals a society governed by the dictates of taste and form, manners and morals, and intricate social ceremonies. Newland Archer, soon to marry the lovely May Welland, is a man torn between his respect for tradition and family and his attraction to May's strongly independent cousin, the Countess Ellen Olenska. Plagued by the desire to live in a world where two people can love each other free from condemnation and judgment by the group, Newland views the artful delicacy of the world he lives in as a comforting security one moment, and at another, as an oppressive fiction masking true human nature. The Age of Innocence is at once a richly drawn portrait of the elegant lifestyles, luxurious brownstones, and fascinating culture of bygone New York society and a compelling look at the conflict between human passions and the social tribe that tries to control them.

Virago

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