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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.


The stories in this volume 'tear the gauze of polite deceit into shreds, by showing the weight of such a shroud, and reealign what exists beneath . . . Not just social commentaries but penetrating moral analyses
Marilyn French
The stories have a lightness of touch and a narrative neatness that demonstrate what a professional she was
Penelope Lively