Queries Page: 2010

Queries  2012 2011 2010 2009 2008 2007 2006 2005 2004 2003 2002 2001 2000 1999
Student Queries Combined with "Queries" 2010 2009 2008 2007 2006 2005 2004 2003 2002 2001 2000  

How to cite this page Submit a question or reply

Copyright on Age of Innocence Dramatization?

Does anyone know who holds the copyright to Margaret Ayer Barnes' dramatic adaptation of Age of Innocence?
Please do not post my name or email.

Help for Student
Dear Edith Wharton Society,

I am doing a project for school, and I need to know the style of writing that Edith Wharton uses, and I need examples from her books, The Age of Innocence and Ethan Frome. Could you help me? or at least tell me where to find this information? Thank You!

I would not like my name or my email posted anywhere. And i could use the answer as soon as possible.

thanks again,


Edith Wharton and Joseph Wharton?

Hello: Is Edith Wharton related to Joseph Wharton of Philadelphia who established the Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania, by her marriage to Teddy Wharton?

Thank you.

Bob Wyckham
Professor emeritus
wyckham at sfu dot ca

Re: Teddy Wharton’s relations.  Perhaps the family tree in Sarah Bird Wright’s book, cited in answer to a query re: EW’s family tree is a good place to start?   Don Hefko noted:

In answer to the recent query re: Edith Wharton's family tree, two print sources are available.  In Sarah Bird Wright's Edith Wharton A to Z, the author includes family trees for both Edward Robbins Wharton and Edith Newbold Jones as Appendix IV on pages 301-302.  She also lists the sources from which these genealogies were compiled.  

See his reply on the query page for full details.

--Sharon Shaloo

"The Springs"

Hello, I wondered if you could help me with this doubt. I am reading The Old Maid, and on the first pages one of the characters refers to the Springs. Wharton literally writes:

"Don´t let your sons go mooning around after their youg fellows, horse-racing, and running down to those damned Springs, and gambling at New Orleans..."
I wouls appreciate if someone in the Society could tell me if this refers to Saratoga Springs, very fashionable back at the turn of 19 century or, as some people have pointed out,  it may more likely refer to Colorado Springs.
Thank you very much for your help. 
Lale González-Cotta

Though I haven’t gone back to the text, the setting of *The Old Maid* is the 1840s and Colorado Springs was established in 1871.  Saratoga Springs was a lively destination resort from at least the 1820s about which EW wrote in other stories and in at least one novel.  I don’t see why anyone would suggest Colorado Springs rather than Saratoga Springs as the more likely reference, but maybe I am missing something? --Sharon Shaloo


I am positive it was Saratoga Springs. Not only because Saratoga was one of the most popular Northern watering holes for Southern planters and their families, but because Edith Wharton used the city in “The Buccaneers,” to show that newly wealthy Southerners continued to make their way to Saratoga, despite fashionable society moving on to Newport, Rhode Island (which was also a favored summer resort for Southerners prior to the Civil War). Colorado Springs did not become a fashionable resort until the 1890s, and even then, it was only favored by wealthy Midwesterners.


Evangeline Holland



Wharton and the Built Environment

I am teaching a new class this quarter and am looking for a short selection from Edith Wharton that describes the physical world, the built environment of Wharton’s time, particularly well. The selection could also be one in which Wharton posits her own ideas about how that world should look.

Does anyone have any suggestions? I appreciate any help you can offer me.

Kelly Wright

Dear Kelly,
I have done research and have lectured on Edith Wharton's influence, in the early 20th century, on American garden design; is that information that might help you?  You mentioned in your query a "short selection from Edith Wharton"; are you referring to her novels or non-fiction such as The Decoration of Houses and Italian Villas and their Gardens?

Constance Haydock

Constance Haydock
Landscape Architect, LEED AP



Have a look at the beginning of the Decoration of Houses for Wharton's discussion on the purpose of balustrades in a well-built house -- much can be made of this.

Also, the well-known quote from her short story, "The Fullness of Life" about a woman's soul as a house with many rooms.

Best wishes,
Ann Patten

British Edition of The Age of Innocence

Does any institution or collector have a first British Edition of "Age of Innocence". The Garrison Bibliography cannot locate a copy.
Thank you,
Helen Kelly



Could someone please give me directions on how to get to Wyndclffe from Rhinebeck, NY?

Wyndcliffe is located on Mill Rd in Rhinebeck.  Mill Rd runs in a loop off Rt 9.  Travelling north on Rt 9, entering Rhinebeck, you would turn left onto S. Mill Rd not too long after passing Belvedere Mansion.  Travelling south on Rt 9 (called “Mill St” for a while, just to add to the confusion!), you would turn right onto Mill Rd not too long after passing Legion Park (which is on the left, I note).

If you miss the ruins, stop at the Stone House B&B about midway on the loop and ask for directions.

--Sharon Shaloo

 Anna Bahlmann Letters: Collection at Yale?

Hello to both Jennie Fields who expressed her interest in Anna Bahlmann and to Sarah Kogan at the Mount who was kind enough to reply.

I too am interested in AB and am doing some research for a dissertation on the role of the governess in EW's work. I'd like to verify with Sarah Kogan that the letters in question are indeed the collection that was auctioned off by Christies's this past June. I assume that it would be possible to obtain permission to  view these papers at Yale.

If anyone has any biographical  information about AB, I would be most happy to  hear from you.

Miriam Schutzer@afeka.ac.il

I’d just like to let Jennie Fields know that the letters of Anna Bahlmann are among the materials held at the Beinecke Library at Yale University.(reposted from previous page--not a new reply)

--Sarah Kogan

The Mount


Dear Ms Schutzer,
In answer to your inquiry about the Bahlmann papers, they were auctioned at Christies in June, 2009, and purchased by the Beinecke Library at Yale. They have been cataloged and you can learn about them via the Beinecke finding aid database on the Beinecke Library website.
It is a vast and fascinating collection and you will learn a great deal about Bahlmann's life by investigating it. I am preparing an edition of the letters from Wharton to Bahlmann, scheduled to come out from Yale University Press in 2012.
Good luck!
Irene Goldman-Price

Wharton: Where to begin?
As someone who has never read Edith Wharton before, which of her novels would you recommend as the best introduction to her work ?
Whilst not wishing to tempt members away from Mrs Wharton I'll gladly recommend, as a change, a novel of the English author Arnold Bennett, a contemporary of Mrs Wharton, if anyone is interested.
Mark Smith
You can see some suggestions from Wharton Society members here: http://www.wsu.edu/~campbelld/wharton/whlbib.htm

Wharton's Family Tree

I am trying to locate somewhere I can view Edith Wharton's extended family tree.  Do you know of a helpful link I might try?  Thank you!

In answer to the recent query re: Edith Wharton's family tree, two print sources are available.  In Sarah Bird Wright's Edith Wharton A to Z, the author includes family trees for both Edward Robbins Wharton and Edith Newbold Jones as Appendix IV on pages 301-302.  She also lists the sources from which these genealogies were compiled.  At the conclusion of Hermione Lee's biography Edith Wharton, the author includes "Edith Wharton's Family Tree," (page 763) although the tree here is slightly less extended than that provided by Wright's book.  If you look up Lee's book on Amazon.com, use the "Search Inside This Book" Feature, and type in "family tree" in quotations marks, the side bar on the left of the screen will display 15 results.  If you scroll down, clicking on the last of these will allow you to view the family tree as it appears in the book.  The extended genealogy in Wright's book is not available online.  

Dan Hefko
Midlothian, VA
Edith Wharton and "Cousin Lina"
I have come across a couple of letters from Edith Wharton addressed to "Cousin Lina".  One also mentions how Ms. Wharton misses "dear Edith" and hasn't seen her in a long time.  I was wondering if you could shed some light on who Cousin Lina and/or this young Edith were?  I would appreciate any input.
Dana Hill

2.  Edith Wharton’s father was first-cousin to Caroline Schermerhorn (more famously known by her married name: Mrs. William B. Astor) who often went by “Lina.”  I’m not sure if this is cousin to whom EW is referring, but it does make a match.

Tarah Demant
Visiting Assistant Professor of English
Mills College
5000 MacArtrur Blvd.
Oakland, CA 94613



Henry James on Edith Wharton

I cannot find the bibliographical reference for the following Henry James quote on Edith Wharton (as quoted on edithwharton.org):

"No one fully knows Edith who hasn't seen her in the act of creating a habitation for herself."

Thanks for providing it!

Irene Billeter Sauter
PhD student, Switzerland

In his book Portrait of Edith Wharton (New York: Appleton, 1947. pp. 129-130), Percy Lubbock quotes James as saying “'no one fully knows our Edith who hasn’t seen her in the act of creating a habitation for herself.’” Lubbock had been a close friend of both James and Wharton but did not paint a flattering portrait of Wharton in his "tribute" to her.

Betsy Beacom


This quotation comes from Percy Lubbock’s book Portrait of Edith Wharton. I don’t have a copy to hand but I think it is on around page 130.

Molly McFall

Librarian, The Mount

The Buccaneers

When Edith Wharton died in 1937 she left The Buccaneers unfinished , but she had drawn up a “Synopsis” setting forth the main lines of the novel.
I do not know where to find this synopsis. I know that the incomplete manuscript was published  by Gaillard Lapsley in New York in 1938. Did he attach
the synopsis? The main thing I want to know is whether Edith Wharton meant Anabel and Guy Thwarte to marry in the end.

Please don’t post my e-mail adress.

Thanking you in advance for your reaction,

A. van Wagensveld


In response to the recent query about the ending of Wharton’s unfinished novel “The Buccaneers”, I can provide the following information:

The book “Fast and Loose and the Buccaneers” (University of Virginia Press, 1993) , currently in print, has an introduction to both novels by Viola Hopkins Winner and includes Wharton’s (very brief) synopsis of “The Buccaneers”.    The text of “The Buccaneers” in this edition is the version originally published in 1938.

You may post my name, but please do not include my e-mail.  Thank you.

Shawn Cullen

Comment about Wharton

After reading Edith Wharton you  quickly discover, the rest of the world has got no class.



Scene from a Wharton novel?

I'm trying to recall a scene that I read in one of Wharton's books when I was a teenager.  I believe it is from House of Mirth, but I may be conflating/imagining this.

A woman on the verge of becoming an old maid pours a cup of tea for a sort of noxious guy.  She knows that if she can just pour him the perfect cup of tea, she will close the deal and be able to marry him.  But something inside her rebels, and she spills the cup and loses him.  Does this ring a bell to anyone?  Can you direct me to the exact citation, if it exists?

Thanks very much!
Sarah Deming

sarahlynndeming at gmail dot com


The only Wharton reference I can think of is the short story "The Other Two" (1904) in which the thrice married Mrs Waythorn pours tea for 3 men - her 2 exhusbands and her husband. She mixes up who takes sugar etc, but I do not recall any tea being spilt. Perhaps this is the passage you were thinking of.

Sarah Whitehead


I think the scene in the train out to Belomont and subsequent events in the first chapters of the House of Mirth fits in every particular except the spilling of the tea, which might be a conflated memory (to pick up your sense of a confused memory) of Lily managing to "spill" herself into Percy Gryce's (the target potential husband) lap as she cunningly walked by when the train lurched (the only way she could find an excuse to sit opposite him), and then making a complete mess of the enterprise by going off for a long walk with the impoverished Selden (whom she really would like to marry) rather than going to church with the incredibly boring Gryce.
Charles Watkins
charles dot watkins at wanadoo dot


Wharton: Collecting Ferns?

At the website for the Mount it is mentioned that Wharton personally collected many varieties of ferns in the Berkshires. Is this true? I am looking for more information about Wharton as an active gardener (active as in touching the earth and plants not just planning). How could I find information like this? I've been scanning some of her letters but very little as of yet.

Thank you!

Oregon State University


Just a suggestion for the person asking about Wharton as an active gardener. Keep looking in the letters. From the body of letters, the best resource to learn about Wharton’s gardening tendencies is her correspondence with Beatrix Farrand, a good deal of which can be found at Yale. I know there is also a few references in Walter Berry letters around 1901/1902 when she is working on plays and he mentions that she would rather play in the dirt than be involved in the theatrical preparations. Also, some of the later Rutger Jewett letters speak about her gardening (by later, I mean late 20’s and 30’s). If Julie needs more detail, I’d be happy to help. She can always reach me at skogan@edithwharton.org. --Sarah Kogan


Wharton's papers

Where are Edith Wharton's personal papers? Is there an archive? I am researching American commercial engraving, monograms and social stationery for a new book and wondered on what letter papers Ms.
Wharton may have written her personal correspondence?

My name and email address may be posted.

Thank you.

Nancy Collins, [nscstationer@earthlink.net]

Most of Wharton's papers are at the Beinecke Library, but some are at the Harry Ransom Center or the Lilly Llibrary. You can find the links on the Research page.
Hi there,

We are making a short film of one of Edith Wharton's wonderful ghost stories and we are looking for
an executive producer/angel to help us raise the modest budget. The film is being shot in and around Oxford 
in the UK. Interested parties can contact the producer: lois dot brown51 at googlemail dot com 
for more details.