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Anna Bahlmann

I am trying to find out more about Edith's governess and secretary, Anna Bahlmann. I would like to find a picture of her, if one exists, and would like to know something about her life in Germany before she came to America to work for Lewis Rutherford. If anyone has information, I'd be very grateful.

Jennie Fields 11/25/08


Wharton at Bryn Mawr

Does anyone have any record of Edith Wharton visiting Bryn Mawr College in 1905?



Collected Short Stories of Edith Wharton, vol I

I would like to buy a copy of the above book, the one published by Scribner in 1968. Where can I possibly buy one?
Thank you.


Secondhand bookstore sites like abebooks.com and Powell's may be a good bet; also, these sometimes turn up on eBay.

Edith Wharton Review 1990 footnote

Dear editors,
I write to ask if you could let me have the remaining of the article I list below.  Its author includes a footnote (# 11) which should appear on p. 17 since the last footnote on p. 16 is #10.  Page # 17 has not been included. 

Would it be possible to have access to the missing footnote?

Thanks in advance for your attention.

Leonard, Garry M. "The Paradox of Desire: Jacques Lacan and Edith Wharton." Edith Wharton Review 7.2 (1990): 13-16.

Carlos Jerez
University of Notre Dame

All the back issues of the Edith Wharton Review, including this one, are now online (free) here at the site: http://www.edithwhartonsociety.org/1999tab.htm.

Italian Villas reproduction

I am writing because I have been trying without success to locate a reproduction of Italian Villas and their Gardens by (what I assume might be) your favorite author. If you can offer me any advice on how to locate the most recent reproduction (the textile on the cover has multicolored flowers as a distinction from the prior edition), then that would be most appreciated!
I thank you in advance for any consideration you might have on this elusive book.
Jonina Turzi


In answer the query titled "Italian Villas Reproduction":

I believe I saw several copies of the edition you describe on sale at The Mount's bookstore this summer.  While they do not currently have an online bookstore, they do accept orders over the phone (413) 551-5119 and can also be contacted via e-mail at info@edithwharton.org.

Best wishes,
Dan Hefko

The reproduction edition of Italian Gardens (The Mount Press/Rizzoli) Can be purchased from “The Mount” and its website.

Nick Nicholson

Wharton in Newport photos

I also have a query.  As a native Rhode Islander (born in Newport, mother from Middletown, dad from Newport) who visits there every year, I'm especially fascinated by the references in The Age of Innocence to those towns and locations there.  Does anyone know of a source of photos of, or any textual references outside the fictions to sites Wharton frequented?  My grandmother was more or less her contemporary, although not in the same social realm.  Pictures of my grandmother and her sisters and friends on Ocean Drive and farm pictures from Middletown and Portsmouth make me eager to find out more about Wharton's times there. 

Jane L. Hyde


In answer to the query titled "Wharton in Newport photos":

The Edith Wharton collection at Yale's Beinecke Library has several folders devoted to photographs of Wharton's homes: Pencraig Cottage, Newport, R. I., and "Land's End," Newport, R. I.  The library has also begun offering digital copies of some of Wharton's photos and manuscripts from their collection online: <http://beinecke.library.yale.edu/dl_crosscollex/SearchExecXC.asp>.)

Eleanor Dwight's Edith Wharton: An Extraordinary Life has, perhaps, the largest number of published photographs associated with Wharton's time in Newport.  Biographies of Wharton (including the most recent one by Hermione Lee) offer "textual references outside the fictions to sites Wharton frequented."
Best wishes,
Dan Hefko

EW Letter about the death of a friend's dog

I am looking for a letter written by Edith Wharton to a friend about

the death of the friend's dog.
Does anyone know of the letter and where it might be found
please send e-mails to composites@rcn.com
thank you

Joyce Moss



Manuscript of The Buccaneers

I'm trying to locate the whereabouts of the original manuscript of 'The Buccaneers'.

Does anyone have any information?



Sara Louise Petersen I [juniormints3@yahoo.com]

Edith Wharton's handwritten manuscript for The Buccaneers (along with the outline, handwritten notes, and the corrected typescript) are in Box 3 of the Edith Wharton Collection at Yale's Beinecke library.

Dan Hefko
Midlothian, VA

French Ways and Their Meaning: Copyright?

I am a graduate assistant researching Edith Wharton and her collection of articles found in French Ways & Their Meaning. In my edition from 1919, it states that D. Appleton and Co. along with International Magazine Co. own the copyrights to this book. Why did Ms. Wharton not own the rights to this collection? And do they still belong to Appleton and Intl' Mag. Co.? I am writing a term paper due at the beginning of next week, as I would appreciate any information you might have as soon as possible.

Natalie Richardson


In all of the first editions of Wharton's work that I've come across, the manuscript was copyrighted by the publisher rather than the author. It seems to have been the practice of the time.

The Watkins/Loomis Agencey currently holds the copyright to French Ways and Their Meaning. Contact information is available at <http://www.watkinsloomis.com/>.

Dan Hefko
Midlothian, VA


Location of the Benedick: Wharton's Mistake?

In the opening scene of The House of Mirth, Lily Bart and Mr. Selden meet at Grand Central Station, where she has two hours until her train. They walk outside, "north on Madison Avenue", and almost immediately find themselves in the street where his apartment building, The Benedick, is located. They don't take a cab (even though he suggested he would find one).

The Benedick, a famous building, is located at 80 Washington Park East, which is more than a mile south of the train station, in the Greenwich Village area. In fact, when Lily leaves Mr. Selden at the Benedick, she takes a cab, and has time for plenty of ruminating while she rides back to the station.

How could Wharton have made such a mistake? Are we to think Lily Bart and Selden walked a mile in the city before arriving at his apartment?


In the space between the period at the end of one sentence and the capital at the beginning of the next, Lily and Selden travel anywhere from half a block to an entire block depending upon where they emerge from Grand Central Station.  Given that they cover this much distance in the white space between sentences, it is not unreasonable to imagine they could have walked a mile or two in the twenty-one lines (in the 1905 edition) between their departure from the station and Lily's pausing on the street where Selden lives.

Wharton acknowledged in The Writing of Fiction that one of the "central difficulties of the novel" was "the attempt to produce on the reader the effect of the passage of time."  It could be argued that the brisk pace set by Lily and Selden as they exit the station, coupled with the description of Lily's "long light step," are enough evidence to make the distance they cover plausible. 

The fact that they "began to stroll northward" and ended up at a southerly destination, could simply suggest the unpremeditated nature of their walk or could point to a sense of misdirection on Wharton's part.  In A Backward Glance she seems to acknowledge a poor sense of direction in some instances, which she attributes to an over reliance on her driver in getting from one place to another. 

Dan Hefko
Midlothian, VA

Wharton's Homes

Hello, I've been searching for photos  of the interiors of Edith's homes in Paris.  53 Rue de Varenne where she leased from George Vanderbilt and 58 Rue de Varenne.  Do you know if any exist and where I might find them?  Thank you, Shelley Harris


The Lilly Library's Edith Wharton collection at Indiana University has a box devoted to Wharton's photographs: <http://www.indiana.edu/~liblilly/lilly/mss/subfile/whartoninv.html>.

While the website doesn't include a list of the photos, Eleanor Dwight's illustrated biography includes a picture from the courtyard of 53 Rue de Varenne, which she credits to the Lilly Library. Perhaps their collection includes other interior photographs.

--Dan Hefko, 7/23/08

Please send comments and suggestions to D. Campbell.