Queries Page: 1999
|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,
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
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
|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
email@example.com or at firstname.lastname@example.org . Many
thanks to anyone with information! Julie Olin-Ammentorp
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, email@example.com 3/1/05
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.
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.
|[Note: The responses appear at summerdisc.html]
If you would like to add more questions, please e-mail
them or use the Reply
Friedmann <firstname.lastname@example.org> 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
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.
|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
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
| 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."
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.
the best --
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.
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
Thanks so much to anyone who can help,
Greg Kochansky email@example.com
|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,
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'
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
I hope this is of some help --
Bird Wright 12/6/99
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 firstname.lastname@example.org
|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
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" <email@example.com>
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
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.
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
|Name : Colette COLLOMB-BOUREAU
Université Lyon-2, France
email address : firstname.lastname@example.org
I think most of "Souls Belated" takes place in Italy. Part of "The Muse's
Tragedy", maybe. I'll keep looking. Best wishes
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.