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Four Sonnets

I am studying for an MA at Oxford Brookes University England. Is it possible to get a text of the four sonnets on Greek myths (Iphigeneia, Clytemnestra etc?
Also has the work by Sarah Whitehead: Demeter Forgiven: Wharton’s use of the Persephone myth in her short stories, been published please.

According to Candace Wade’s book Edith Wharton's Letters from the Underworld, Wharton’s poem “Oresteia” contains the four sonnets in question. The poem is, as yet, unpublished to my knowledge. It can be found (by the slightly different spelling of “Orestia”) among her papers in the Beinecke Library in Box 21 Folder 671 of the Edith Wharton Collection. Here is a link to the searchable contents of the collection: http://drs.library.yale.edu:8083/fedora/get/beinecke:wharton/PDF

If you wish to order a photocopy of the manuscript for "Orestia" from the library, you can find more information here: http://www.library.yale.edu/beinecke/brblresearch/ordering.html

Here is a link to the full-text of Sarah Whitehead’s essay: http://public.wsu.edu/~campbelld/wharton/ewr26-1s10.pdf
Best wishes,
Dan Hefko
"The Last Token"

We are working on a paper on Wharton's ekphrastic poetry for the Florence conference. According to Louis Auchincloss's introduction to the Selected Poems, 'The Last Token' was 'inspired by an academic painting of a Christian girl in the Roman arena about to be devoured by big cats and clutching a flower tossed to her by her lover safely esconced with the audience above'.

Can anyone identify this painting for us?

Many thanks
Dr David Kennedy / Senior Lecturer in English & Creative Writing, University of Hull, UK
Christine Kennedy / Independent scholar

"The Last Token," if Auchincloss is correct, may be based on a painting that is now owned by the Metropolitan Museum by Gabriel Max. It seems to have been owned by Catharine Lorillard Wolfe at the time when Edith Jones would have written the poem. The Jones family knew Miss Wolfe, but it is more likely that they saw the painting when it was hung at the Centennial Loan Collection at the National Academy of Design in 1876.
Here's a link to the Met catalog page.
Irene Goldman-Price


Not sure if this is the painting you are looking for…here is the link.



Mary Jo McClain

Wharton: First Woman to Drive Through France?

I'm currently conducting some research into Edith Wharton and was wondering if you could help me. I'm trying to find out whether she was the first woman to drive through France in the early twentieth century, and if she wasn't, do you have any idea who was?

Any help would be much appreciated. Thank you!

C Roper

Mary Alsop King Waddington did some driving through France and also published a book about it in 1908, _Chateau and Country Life in France_ (Scribner’s). In her narrative, she describes various automobile excursions. Wharton was driving through France in 1906-1908, though, so may still pre-date Waddington (I don’t know when Waddington undertook her travels).


Gary Totten


At least two women would seem to have predated Wharton’s motorflights through France.

According to Taking the Wheel: Women and the Coming of the Motor Age, by Virginia Scharff, Blanche McManus (while not necessarily the first) began “motoring from one end of France to the other” in 1902. McManus included a chapter entitled “The Woman and the Car” in her 1911 travel book The American Woman Abroad .

Dorothy Levitt’s book The Woman and the Car: A Chatty Little Handbook for All Women Who Motor or Who Want to Motor, reports that “Mrs. George Thrupp. . . has been driving ever since 1896 [and]. . . has toured in Great Britain and on the Continent.”

Best wishes,
Dan Hefko

Janet Malcolm on Wharton

I'm currently working on a piece on The Custom of the Country and Wharton's "misogyny." I've been unable to locate any post-commentary on Janet Malcolm's 1986 "The Woman Who Hated Women." I was wondering if anyone might be aware of a print conversation generated by the piece, specifically something to which Malcolm herself responded? Thanks for your help.
> All best,
> Arielle Zibrak


Hi, I wonder if you might have the info on the relationship between Edith and Lillian Livingston Jones; I believe they were cousins. I cannot find a site better than this one I don't believe. Many thanks for any assisitance, Katharyn Remsen Aroneau