Queries Page: 1999

Queries  2010 2009 2008 2007 2006 2005 2004 2003 2002 2001 2000 1999
Student Queries 2010 2009 2008 2007 2006 2005 2004 2003 2002 2001 2000  

How to cite this page Submit a question or reply
  • Wharton's "Hymn of the Lusitania" (X)
  • Social Role of Women
  • Meaning of Inscription on Wharton's gravestone (X)
  • Discussion questions for Summer (X)
  • "Keeping up with the Joneses" (X)
  • Edith Wharton quotation (X)
  • "Amor Fati" (X)
  • Critical edition of The Age of Innocence (X)
  • Edith Wharton's Verses (X)
  • Edith Wharton's "Terminus" (X)
  • Sales Figures for Age of Innocence (X)
  • Authoritative Wharton biography (X)
  • Wharton Stories Set in Italy (X)
    Subject: Social Role of Women   top
    I am going to write my Master's thesis on 'The social role of women in American novels at the turn of the century, especially on Edith Wharton's House of Mirth (and Kate Chopin's The Awakening)' I would like to know if there is already any literature on that specific or similar topics. I am also looking for literature that concerns the cult of domesticity (women as the angel of the house, as passive and decorative objects) in the House of Mirth (and The Awakening). Since it is more difficult to find English-written literature on these topics in Germany I would be very thankful for any information, 
    Beate Kvrner

    Talking about " The Awakening ", Kate Chopin shows an individuality and strengh remarkable for upper -middle-class women of the time , dealing with marriage and perspective on the theme.
    Her characters face dilemma between what society expects of women and what they really want to for themselves , not society .
    The protagonist , Edna , places herself as the individual against society to protect her own life , only to egnore her husband and children .
    At first reading , I was a little shocked at her way of life unlike her good friend absorbing in taking care of her family.
    No wonder " The  Awakening " cause scandale .

    Now I'm reading " Ethan Frome " by Edith Wharton ,who has many similarity to Chopin .
    Both of them treats with women in their many stories

    Noota 5-15-04

    Subject: Meaning of inscription on Wharton's gravestone  top
    What does the inscription on Edith Wharton's gravestone mean? In Latin it is, I believe "Ave Crux Spes Unica" -- how does this translate in English?  Thank you. 
    ghardcastle 8/18/99
    Shari Benstock's biography of Wharton, No Gifts from Chance, answers this question in describing Wharton's grave: "Inscribed on an embossed cross was the Latin phrase she had chosen for her epitaph: O Crux Ave Spes Unica--O Hail Cross, Our Only Hope" (459). D. Campbell, 8/20/99
    Subject: Wharton's "Hymn of the Lusitania"   top

    During World War I, Wharton wrote a poem entitled "Hymn of the Lusitania."  Stephen Garrison's very useful (and generally very reliable) _Edith Wharton:  A Descriptive Bibliography_ lists the publication of this poem in the New  York Herald, 7 May 1915, p. 1.  But my search of the Herald did not turn  this up; in fact, the Lusitania was sunk on 7 May 1915, and the headline on  8 May 1915 concerns its sinking.  I have examined the Herald for the following couple of weeks but have had no luck.  If you have any information  about the correct date of publication, I'd appreciate it greatly.  Email me  at wjwjoa@msn.com or at olinamme@maple.lemoyne.edu  .  Many thanks to anyone  with information!  Julie Olin-Ammentorp 7/26/99

    It might be in the Paris edition of the Tribune ... we're doing a collection of EW's poems here in the Library of America's "American Poets Project" series and we're now looking for this one as well.

    Matt Parr, mparr@loa.org 3/1/05

    Subject: Edith Wharton Question for Biography Magazine (fwd)  top

    My name is Alice Cary and I write a monthly question and answer column for Biography Magazine. I am researching the origin of the phrase "Keeping Up With the Jones," which was also the name of a comic strip in the early part of this century.  One source, however, "100 Years of Newspaper Comics," says that illustrator Arthur "Pop" Momand heard the phrase as it was often applied to Edith Wharton's parents, George and Lucretia Jones. Do you know anything about this?  I very quickly skimmed through some pages of a few Wharton biographies and saw no mention of this. Also, other standard references mention only the Momand comic strip, not Wharton's parents.  I'd appreciate any insights you or other members of the Edith Wharton Society might be able to offer.  Thank you.

    Best, Alice Cary


    According to Shari Benstock's No Gifts from Chance, "Sometime before she was three years old, Edith visited her father's stern, unmarried sister, Elizabeth Schermerhorn Jones, at Wyndcliffe, her eighty-acre estate on the Hudson River.  Elizabeth, too, had suffered a terrible illness in childhood, but her parents saved her from the tuberculosis that had killed two of her siblings by shutting her away for nine months in the Mercer Street family house in Lower Manhattan.  They sealed the windows of her bedroom and kept the fireplace lit; by these drastic measures, Elizabeth Jones survived into hardy adulthood and became a 'ramrod-backed old lady compounded of steel and granite.'  In 1852, she built a twenty-four-room turreted villa, the most expensive house ever before built in Rhinecliff, New York.  Such display of wealth, it was said, gave rise to the expression 'keeping up with the Joneses' (26). Benstock  gives as her source a New York State Conservation Association pamphlet on the house, p. 157.  D. Campbell, 8/20/99
    Subject: Request: Discussion Questions for _Summer_   top

    I am the discussion leader for a book club reading Wharton's 
    'Summer.' Can someone send me a list of discussion questions? I have not yet read the book and would like to have the questions to think over as I read. Thank you for your time. 
    Amber Puzey 

    [Note: The responses appear at summerdisc.html] If you would like to add more questions, please e-mail them or use the Reply Form.
    From: Beth Friedmann <fried004@tc.umn.edu>   top

    Subject: Edith Wharton quote 

    If anyone knows the source of the quote 
    "There are two ways of spreading light: to be the candle or the mirror that receives it", please contact me.  I have exhausted all print and electronic sources.  Your help would be greatly appreciated! 

    Thanks in advance! 

    The original source for this on the Internet seems to be the Creative Quotations website post for 1/24/99:

    There are two ways of spreading light: To be the candle or the mirror that reflects it.

    At the Creative Quotations website, it is attributed to Artemis to Actaeon, 1909.  It is actually a quotation from a poem in that volume, "Vesalius in Zante."
    D. Campbell  10/3/99

    Subject: Amor Fati  top
    I am looking for a text by Edith Wharton entitled
    "Amor Fati". It is a non-fiction essay which was quoted in a book on the subject of regret. Unfortunately, I am not familiar with Edith Wharton's ouevre and wondered if anyone could e-mail me with the source of this essay. Sadly, the author of the above mentioned book on regret did not provide an exact citation. Thank you. 

    Curtis Price

    Mr. Price:  I have done a quick check in 5 good sources, and have found nothing by that title.  The sources are Stephen Garrison's Edith Wharton:A Descriptive Bibliography, the most complete listing of her works;R.W.B. Lewis' biography of Wharton; Shari Benstock's biography of Wharton(No Gifts from Chance), Cynthia Griffin Wolff's work on Wharton (A Feast of Words), and Frederick Wegener's recent volume, Edith Wharton:The Uncollected Critical Writings.  Sorry I can't be of more help.  Julie Olin-Ammentorp    8/31/99
    Critical Edition of The Age of Innocence  top
    I was wondering if there was a critical edition or any annotations or annotated guide to The Age of Innocence.  I assumed there would be, but I have been unable to track one down.  Thanks. Chris Williams  9/4/99
    In response to the inquiry below, I recently was told by a Norton representative that a critical edition is forthcoming edited, I believe, by Elizabeth Ammons.  Another list member might have more info.
    Emily Orlando.    9/5/99

    Dear Chris Williams, 
      I have just edited The Age of Innocence for the New Riverside Series, publ. by Houghton Miflin. It includes extensive annotation on the text  (streets, clothing, flowers, opera, architecture, etc.); background readings on travel, divorice, anthropology, the art museum, sports; selected critical readings; and an introduction.  It should appear this Jan.  The Penguin ed. includes notes and an intro.  The Cambridge ed. includes study guides. 
      Carol Singley  9/6/99

    Edith Wharton's Verses.  top
    Does anyone know how to get a hold of a copy of Wharton's collection of poetry called Verses?  The Yale library only has an incomplete version.  E Johansen  10/26/99
    The complete manuscript of Verses is reprinted in Edith Wharton: Selected Poems (The Library of America, 2005) edited by Louis Auchincloss.

    He notes, "The copy of Wharton's Verses used in preparing this edition, from the Morgan Library, includes five handwritten emendations of apparant typographical errors. . . these emendations have been adopted in the present volume."

    Dan Hefko
    Midlothian, VA


        To E. Johansen:  I believe Verses, by Edith Wharton, is one of the rarest of all her books.  The Clifton Waller Barrett Library, Special Collection Department,  Alderman Library, the University of Virginia, Charlottesville, has a complete copy.  As you probably know, it was printed privately by Lucretia Jones in 1878.  The printer was C. E. Hammett, Jr., in Newport, R.I. The Newport Historical Society may also have a copy.  I would be interested to know what others you find.
                               All the best --
                                           Sarah Bird Wright 

    If memory serves me correctly, about 10 years ago when I was writing my dissertation I was able to get a copy through inter-library loan.  I think it came from UVa.  Whoever it was sent a microfilm copy for me to keep--it's still on my shelf at home.  I see by checking the WorldCat database that several libraries around the country own it, either in hard copy or microfilm.  If you haven't already asked your inter-library loan librarian for help, that's where I'd go.  -- Anne Fields 

    Note: Edith Wharton's Artemis to Actaeon and Other Verse, a volume of poems, is available in a reprint version from Classic Books. Also, many of Wharton's poems (but not Verses) are available on the Wharton's Works page at this site.  --D. Campbell 5/9/00

    Edith Wharton's "Terminus"   top
    I am trying to find EW's poem "Terminus" to no avail.  Does anyone know if perhaps it is embedded in a novel or short story?  Thank you.
     Lisa Lopez   10/27/99
    "Terminus" is reprinted in R. W. B. Lewis's biography of Edith Wharton, pp. 259-260.  -- Sarah Bird Wright   10/28/99

    This poem is included in the newly-published, two-volume "American Poetry: The Twentieth Century", by Library of America. 
    Marjorie A. Zitomer  3/31/00

    It is also available here.

    Sales Figures for Age of Innocence  top
    I'm writing a paper about how _The Age of Innocence_ was  received by the reading public in the 1930s. Does anyone know where I can find annual sales figures for that novel, as compared to its sales in the 1920s. I don't necessarily need concrete numbers, even the general trend would be sufficient.

    Thanks so much to anyone who can help,

    Greg Kochansky     kochnsky@princeton.edu

    Re royalties for "The Age of Innocence":
    Many of the royalty statements from Appleton's are in the Beinecke; YCAL  MSS
    42.  The index gives the following information:
       "Series III, Professional Correspondence (Boxes 31-39), consists primarily of letters to and from publishers, magazine editors, professional
    organizations, booksellers, and individuals writing to Wharton principally
    about her literary work (translations, interpretations, dramatizations,
    permissions for quoting or reprinting, etc.). Most revealing, perhaps, are the
    extensive files from her publishers and agents: Charles Scribner's Sons (1905-1937), Curtis Brown, Ltd. (1919-1928), Macmillan and Co. (1905-1930), and D.Appleton and Co. (1916-1937). The correspondence in these files tells much about her concerns with contracts and royalties, revisions, printers' errors, etc."
            If you can go up to Yale, I believe you can assess the difference in
    royalties for "The Age of Innocence" between the 1920s and the 1930s by searching for Appleton's royalty statements in Boxes 31-39 and also in Box 52, which also, I think, has some royalty statements from Appleton's.  They are probably incomplete, but, even so, you may be able to make a useful estimate.
            I hope this is of some help --
                                            Sarah Bird Wright   12/6/99
    Authoritative Biography of Wharton  top
    QUESTION: I'm working on a research report on Edith Wharton and would like opinions on the following two questions: 1) Is R.W.B. Lewis's biography still considered the most authoritative/standard biography? and 2) who is the foremost active expert on Wharton?
    > Thanks.  Joan Petit  joanpetit@earthlink.net
    Of course this is only one opinion, but I jumped in on this query because I wanted the chance to say how much I value the Lewis biography.  It is really first-rate.  Wasn't it Mainwaring who criticized some lapses/mistakes in Lewis in an article published some time ago in, I think, TLS (help Wharton-L!  Is that right?).  I have to say, however, that I didn't find the criticisms interfered in any way with my profound respect for what Lewis did for EW.

    That said, I think you really must add Shari Benstock's bio to Lewis's to get the most comprehensive view.  NO GIFTS FROM CHANCE is fine work indeed.

    Wharton studies is alive and well, and I don't think anyone would want to try to name a single figure who is most prominent in the field, but I think if you visit the Wharton website you will find a reasonable bibliography to get you started. [Note: An index to the Edith Wharton Review and a bibliography of recommended works on Wharton are both available at this site.]

    Sharon Shaloo  12/13/99
    From: "Olin-Ammentorp, Juli" <olinamme@maple.lemoyne.edu>
    Subject: Re: Edith Wharton Queries (fwd)

    I'd agree with Sharon Shaloo's assessment.  Lewis remains very important! But you should absolutely read Benstock.  Among other things, her biography is documented in painstaking detail, which makes it possible not only to figure out how she came to her conclusions, but also to find the original documents from which she was working in case there are issues on which you want more information.  She also includes new information, for example on Wharton's adoption of 4 boys during World War I, and challenges some "myths" about Wharton (e.g. that Wharton had a nervous breakdown and was treated by S. Weir Mitchell).  It's also eminently readable!  Happy reading.  Julie Olin-Ammentorp         12/14/99

    Dear Joan Petit:

     I am the founder of the Edith Wharton Society fourteen years ago and editor  of the EDITH WHARTON REVIEW until this year.  Following are my evaluations:

    RWB Lewis's biography is still one of the best but he is by no means the  leading authority on Wharton...There isn't any one person. There are three  other good and more feminist biographies written subsequently...Feast of  Words by Cynthia Griffin Wolff;  Edith Wharton: An Extraordinary Life by  Eleanor Dwight: and No Gifts from Chance by Shari Benstock.

    There are two interesting studies of Wharton:
         The Sexual Education of Edith Wharton by Gloria Erlich
          Wharton's Inner Circle by Susan Goodman

    Two good essay collection essay collections are:
        Edith Wharton:New Critical Essays
       ed. by Alfred Bendixen and Annette Zilversmit

       A Forward Glance by Clare Colquitt, Susan Goodman and Candace Waid.

    There are more than three hundred scholars who are part of Wharton Society  and each one is an authority in some area..

    Trust you own readings and interpretations when you work on a writer...

    Hope I have been of some help.
    Annette Zilversmit

    Wharton Stories Set in Italy   top
    Besides the much-anthologized "Roman Fever," which of Wharton's short stories are set in Italy? I would like to include several of her stories on the reading list for a course for students studying abroad in Rome. Charlotte Meyer    meyer@edgewood.edu
    Name : Colette COLLOMB-BOUREAU
    Université Lyon-2, France
    email address : colette.collomb-boureau@univ-lyon2.fr

    I think most of "Souls Belated" takes place in Italy. Part of "The Muse's
    Tragedy", maybe. I'll keep looking. Best wishes

    C.C.B.          12/16/99

    From: Judith Funston 
    Subject: Re: Wharton Stories Set in Italy

    My addition:  "The Duchess at Prayer"    12/18/99

    . Please send comments and suggestions to D. Campbell.