|Paper on Age of
QUESTION: Hi~ I have to do a paper on a theme of Age of Innocence or a
paper on the stylistic methods that Edith Wharton uses in the novel. Which
of the two might I find more information about? Where would be good sources
for it? Thanks so much! Liesel Spangler
|Either of these would be a good topic, and you should be able to
find good sources on both of them. Some good sources are on the "Recommended
Reading" page at the site; if you're working on THE AGE OF INNOCENCE,
you might also want to look at the two new editions that have come
out recently: Carol Singley's Riverside edition and Candace Waid's
Norton Critical edition. Both of these have selected some of
the "best of the best" essays on this novel, and you should be able
to get a good sense of what critics have said about its themes and
style from those. Also, you can search the bibliographies at
this site by using the Search
this Site feature.
1/27/01 D. Campbell
Recompense and The Great Gatsby
CONTACT_VIA: Yes to e-mail address
QUESTION: I am starting my senior thesis, and Edith Wharton's, The Mother's
Recompense is the basis for it. The Mother's Recompense was on the
seller's list the same time as F. Scott Fitzgerald's, The Great Gatsby.
dealing with the corrupt wealthy, why is The Great Gatsby a well-known
today, and The Mother's Recompense hardly known. If anyone can lead
me in the direction of scholarly journals, book reviews, etc. I would really
appreciate it. Also, I would be happy to hear any suggestions on
improving my thesis
topic. Katie Parisien, email@example.com
|Here are some recent sources to consult, but if readers of this
page would send additional
comments on this topic, more responses would be helpful.
1/27/01 D. Campbell
- Heller, Tamar. "Victorian Sensationalism and the Silence of Maternal
Sexuality in Edith Wharton's The Mother's Recompense." Narrative 5.2
- Raphael, Lev. "Shame in Edith Wharton's The Mother's Recompense." American
Imago: Studies in Psychoanalysis and Culture 45.2 (1988): 187-203.
- Tonkovich, Nicole. "An Excess of Recompense: The Feminine Economy
of The Mother's Recompense." American Literary Realism 26.3
- Walker, Nancy. "Mothers and Lovers: Edith Wharton's The Reef and The
Mother's Recompense." The Anna Book: Searching for Anna in
Literary History. Ed. Mickey Pearlman. Contributions to the Study
of World Literature. Westport, CT: Greenwood, 1992. 91-98.
Your question about Mother's Recompense vs. Great Gatsby is
best contextualized, I think, not narrowly along the lines of the reception
of EW but more broadly with a view of the formation of the American Literature
canon, the underlying theses of the orginal canon, and then the interventions
on that canon that have been made since the 1970s by feminist scholars
who saw that important American women writers (Wharton, Cather, Chopin,
Glasgow -- to name only a few ) were underappreciated.
I know that sounds like a lot, but for a good overview of the
creation of the Am Lit/Am Studies discipline, I think David Shumway's
book (sorry, don't have the title handy--but it is transparently
on this topic once you search it) is still current and very useful. Most
book-length studies of Wharton
will include some solid information about the history of her reception. I
also think you might find it interesting to look at some of the landmarks
of early feminist interrogations of the canon--THE RESISTING READER and
LITERARY WOMEN -- not because they are still the authorities on this
subject but because it will help you to understand the issue historically.
P.S. All of us in the EW Society have fond memories of last
June at Salve Regina, where we held the 2000 Society conference. It's
terrific to know that a student there is working on EW for the
senior thesis. Send regards to Profs Littlefield, Harrington-Lueker,
Hawkridge, and all!
|Edith Wharton and Interior
QUESTION: i am an interior design student writing a research
paper on Wharton's influence in the design aspect (architecture
and interior), i wanted information on this specific subject,
if you could suggest anything it would help!
thank you, Raina raina patteson firstname.lastname@example.org
| There are good sources on Edith Wharton and architecture.
Her own Decoration of Houses would be a good place to start,
as would work by Judith Fryer (Felicitous Space) and Annette
Benert, among others. Other WHARTON-L members will probably
have more suggestions. D.
on Edith Wharton
I am writing a critical biography on Edith Wharton, and I need some suggestions. Our
biography is to detail significant influences on the author's writing and
surveying critics' responses to his or her work. I was wondering
if anyone had any suggestions as to how I should approach my paper?? Also
any information on significant influences on Edith Wharton's writing and
surveying critics' responses her work would be greatly appreciated. Thanks.
|Your best bet will be to look at the many books already published
on Edith Wharton. A lot has been written on Edith Wharton and
those who influenced her work. Starting with a good biography
such as those by Lewis, Benstock, or Dwight, among others, would
be a good idea. You might also want to look at works such as
Carol Singley's Edith Wharton: Matters of Mind and Spirit,
Helen Killoran's Edith Wharton: Art and Allusion, Millicent
Bell's Edith Wharton and Henry James, Cynthia Griffin Wolff's The
Triumph of Edith Wharton, or various works by Adeline Tintner
for a sense of what Wharton owed to other writers.
Good luck with your project.
on Edith Wharton
I am writing a critical analysis paper on the works of Edith Wharton. I
have been searching for sources or examples that I might look over for
a beginner's perspective. Are there any sites that I can go to for assistance.
My paper is due in May. I have to write 5-7 pages on her and would really
appreciate any help that I can get.
|The best work on Edith Wharton is available in books and journals.
For a beginner's perspective, you might start with a biography or
one of the works from the recommended
A good way to see what you might like to delve into further would be
to read Sarah Bird Wright's Edith Wharton: A to Z. It is
an encyclopedia of material on Wharton, and each essay includes a short
bibliography on the topic.
Also, Katherine Joslin's book Edith Wharton, in the Macmillan Women
Writers series, would give you a good overview of what the issues are
in Wharton criticism.
Good luck with your project.
Death in The House of Mirth
I am a student in the UK currently undertaking an
essay on the significance of Lily Bart's death in
The House of Mirth. If anyone out there has any useful
web site addresses or has some information they can
e-mail me, please do not hesitate to do so. I would
be most grateful. Thank you
|See the FAQ at
this site for some answers to this question.
|Edith Wharton's Nervous
I'm writing a paper about Edith Wharton and her writing, relating to her
nervous breakdown in 1894 and 1895. Most information about the breakdown
is vague and so my research is not quite complete. If anyone could
help me with anything concerning my topic, I would greatly appreciate it. You
can post a message or e-mail me at my aol screen name. Thanks, Cheshire
|Roman Fever and Wharton's
I have to do a research project on "Roman Fever" by finding hidden details
and meanings about Edith Wharton, her life, and her intentions for the
story. I was thinking of focusing on her animosity towards New York
city and the culture behind it. Does anyone have any ideas for me
on where I could get
Hello, I have a question concerning the ending of the ghost story "Pomegranate
Seed". I couldn't`t quite get the meaning of that tale since everything
seemed to be very ambiguous and indefinite.
I know that this story belongs to the genre of the fantastic and that,
therefore Edith Wharton didn`t want to give any explicit explanation for
the happenings. Yet, I am wondering what she wanted to imply by that story.
Does it rather depict the mother-daughter relationship or does it make
hints to Edith Wharton`s relationship to her father?
I would be very grateful if anybody could give me some ideas what to make
up of that story.
Thank you in advance! Thomas Münze
|For some general references, see the Student
Queries 2000 page at this site.
|Sexuality in Wharton's
how is sexuality expressed or viewed in Wharton's writing
|Patriarchy in The
House of Mirth
i am currently writing an essay on representations of patriarchy in Edith
Wharton's 'The House Of Mirth.' if anyone knows any web sites it would
in "The Mission of Jane"
NAME: mandy tucker
QUESTION: this may seem strange, or perhaps I was up wayyyy
too late doing my new critical approach(which is hard with wharton)
but in reading " The Mission of Jane" I found that Jane may have
beem a metaphor for a lesbian lover of Mrs. Lethbury-and Mr.
Lethbury may have been gay-considering the passage about him
being faithful by not making love to other "women" and his "perceptions" and
additionally him finding comfort in dark places with fine proportions
(dimly lit hotel rooms?) well..I can't find available criticism
on that piece, and I may be far-fetched-help?? I also took into
consideration that Mr. Lethbury said that the other guests in
his "perception of right & wrong" would have angered Mrs.
L and that the diet would not interest her-consider as well the "howl" of
the woman-(baby) oh well..just looking for some input-thanks
|Immigrants in Age of Innocence
NAME: Sarah Bennett
QUESTION: I'm studying the immigrant's view of American life
in Wharton's the Age of Innocence. How the immigrant
offers the only true view of America. I'm using the ways Ellen
Olenska exposes their society for what it really is and am looking
for any sources in this area or generally any of Wharton's views
|Literary Criticism on "The
NAME: stacie Mott
QUESTION: I am seeking literary criticism information on Edith Wharton's "The Eyes." I've
been having a great deal of trouble locating any information. I
would appreciate any information that you have.
on "The Fulness of Life"
QUESTION: Hi! I have to do an essay about Wharton's short story "The
Fulness of Life"... I like the story very much, but I haven't been able
to find any secondary material about it on the internet. The problem
is that we HAVE TO use secondary sources as well. Can anyone help me,
|Basic information on "Roman
QUESTION: ON ROMAN FEVER I need to understand the
|Summer and Ethan
QUESTION: Hello, I have to write a research paper on Edith Wharton
and I'm trying to think of symbols and similarities between her
two novels, Ethan Frome and Summer, but especially Summer. I
can't find anything on that book! If anyone could offer
some ideas, I would appreciate it soo much! Thanks!
|House of Mirth: Lily's Death
NAME: Sarah Stumph
What is the significance of Lily's self-siecing [? ceasing] ? And
Selden's in ability to "read" Lily throughout the novel?
|Edith Wharton and Rossetti
NAME: Jennifer George
QUESTION: Hello--I'm an undergrad doing a research paper on EW's The
Buccaneers. I'm wondering if Wharton ever wrote any criticism
Rossetti. Thank you! --Jennifer
|Edith Wharton and Newport
QUESTION: I am doing a research paper on the great mansions of Newport
and Long Island's Gold Coast for the time period 1870-1929. I know Wharton
wrote and described many mansions of this period. Where can I get some
information on such mansions and Wharton's use of them?
So far as I know Wharton did not "write
and describe" the Newport mansions. Some of her fiction has Newport scenes
(for example, The Age of Innocence and her short story "The Twilight of
the God"). She discusses good house design in The Decoration of Houses,
but she deplored the ostentatious
scale and ornamentation of many Gilded Age homes, not just those in Newport.
You might read A Backward Glance, her autobiography, which has some sections
about Newport. Good luck with your research and writing.
|Compare and Contrast: "Roman
QUESTION: I need to do an essay on "ROMAN FEVER" and I am having
trouble finding the contrast and comparison features of the
stories.Can someone please help me out?
and Contrast: Lily Bart and Countess Olenska
hi. i am doing a paper comparing Lily Bart from The House of Mirth
Countess Olenska from The Age of Innocence. My purpose is to show
their culture suppressed them and fated them to never be happy. Can
you give me
any ideas on where to start?
and Contrast: House of Mirth and Winesburg, Ohio
NAME: Rosa Dorado
QUESTION: I am trying to find items that relate "The
House of Mirth" and
"Winesburg,Ohio" ,could you give me the clue to find information about
it, please? Thank you very much.
I was curious about the lack of information on Beatrice Palmato. I
cannot find scholarly information pertaining to this particular work, and
hoping to receive some enlightenment into this.
Kathryn Vander Vegte
I've been "presenting" "House of Mirth" to
a wonderful breakfast/book club in St. Paul. We have a well read
and highly informed group, but I feel some were put off by my
criticism of the quality of the above mentioned book. After reading
more about Wharton and her work on the Internet, I came across
the subject of her story "Beatrice Palmato" (never
completed) re: incest.
Seeing that, I felt that I could better explain why the character
of Lily in "House of Mirth" was not a credible fictional
character. When I read the book, I didn't understand why "Lily" seemed
so artificial, so unreal. I did feel that Wharton was very angry
and displayed a great need to "communicate" (like all
writers) to her public, but what was she trying to communicate?
Now I believe that Wharton was a victim of sexual abuse as a
child, and needed to "get it off her chest". Her book
was more of an outburst (albeit a brilliant one), a diatribe
against not simply her "class," but against those around
her-and that included EVERYONE-who hadn't protected, understood
and loved her in her childhood.
I am not a student of Wharton, although I fully intend to read
and reread her work, and needless to say, read her autobiography.
I'm a former English teacher (have a masters in theatrical criticism
and a law degree) but I'm no expert on the work of Wharton. I
am a lover of "mysteries," however, and I honestly
believe that the key to understanding her work (and her TRIUMPH)
is to recognize that an early debilitating experience, which
holds the "key" to understanding her work, could have-but
thank heaven didn't-destroy her.
I would like very much to hear from you because I see that you
have noticed the dearth of information re: "Beatrice Palmato" also.
Any comments you have I look forward to receiving.
Louise A. Klas
St. Paul, MN. LuLuKlas@aol.com
Here are a few articles that deal either with Wharton and incest
or "Beatrice Palmato":
Lauer, Kristin O. "Is This Indeed 'Attractive'? Another
Look at the 'Beatrice Palmato' Fragment." Edith Wharton
Review 11.1 (1994): 26-29.
Tintner, Adeline R. "Mothers, Daughters, and Incest in the Late
Novels of Edith Wharton." The Lost Tradition: Mothers and Daughters
in Literature. Ed. Cathy N.Davidson and E. M.Broner. New York: Ungar,
White, Barbara A. "Neglected Areas: Wharton's Short Stories and
Incest, Part I & Ii." Edith Wharton Review 8; 8.1; 2
(1991): 2-12; 3-10, 32.
White and also Helen Killoran (Edith Wharton: Art and Allusion)
have discussed the possibility of sexual abuse; also, Cynthia
Griffin Wolff discusses the fragment in A Feast of Words.
|Edith Wharton and Italian Art prior
to Valley of Decision
I'm writing a college paper on Edith Wharton's links with Italian art and
culture, as developed in her first works prior to "The Valley of Decision".
In a Wharton bibliography I found that she translated three short stories
by Italian authors, but the only clue it gives about the location of the
book is MB. I figure it's supposed to indicate a college library, but I
can't make out which one. Would You happen to know which library it refers
to? I've already got tons of material, but this would definitely gain me
a "+". The title of the book is "Foreign Authors" ( or, alternatively, "Stories
by Foreign Authors" ) and it was edited in 1898 by Scribner's
Thank You so much for Your attention to my query and Your help.
Sincerely, Elisabetta Mezzani email@example.com
The stories are available online at the following address:
Here are the titles and authors of the translated stories:
"COLLEGE FRIENDS" BY EDMONDO DE AMICIS
"IT SNOWS" BY ENRICO CASTELNUOVO
"A GREAT DAY" BY EDMONDO DE AMICIS
|Criticism on The
I am a college student from Indonesia. I write a thesis from EW"s The
Mother's Recompense but I have some difficulty to find some books that related
to that novel. Is there any possibility for me to read books that discuss
about The Mother's Recompense. jusak <mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org> 8/27/01
|You can find a short bibliography on this site at recompensebib.html
|Edith Wharton and Wyndcliffe
It is my understanding that Edith Wharton had a home in Rhinebeck,
New York, called, Wincliff. I am wondering why it
is not mentioned in her biography. When was she in
residence? What was written while she was there? Was
she a child? Was she unhappy there? Did a major event
happen in her life there? Thank you for your help.
Anne Maletta, Mal7669@aol.com
|You can find some information and links on the FAQ page
and also on one of thequeries
|Edith Wharton and Failed
I am writing (or trying to write) an essay for a Senior Seminar
Wharton. I am looking for research that explores love and marriage
depicted in her fiction. More specifically, a reciprocal love that
involves both an intellectual and physical connection is never given
future in Wharton's work. I am looking for suggestions as to why
relationships are always doomed. Thank you.
the Country Links or Books
QUESTION: I am an isolated british student living in France,
having to redo my teaching diploma (very academic compared to
the UK), and my major problem is a
lack of access to a decent library, as I am doing the course by correspondence.
The Custom of the Country is one of the three books they have chosen
and I would really like to know if anybody has any useful links or books
do not cost a fortune that they could recommend, as I am on a limited
budget. Most of their questions seem to centre on the undulating character
of Undine Spragg and Edith Wharton's fascination with France and the
French (their undoubted reason for choosing this book!). I know that
this is the usual pathetic student request, but English resources here
are pitiful (and I'm 34 not 18, I've already done all of this once over!)
If anyone maybe who is here in France would like to contact me,or anyone
at all, I'd be only too
happy!!!!Thanks Claire Cozler, email@example.com
as a Realist Novelist
I would appreciate it very much if you could answer my following
-Can one consider Edith Wharton
a realist novelist? If so, what was her contribution to the
edification of the American realistic novel?
UNiversity of Annaba
|Wharton and Religious Background
QUESTION: I am looking for information on any early religious
training or church experience that Edith Wharton had. Any information
is appreciated. Tracy 11/26/01
|Custom of the Country
QUESTION: For a specific work, I am looking for most information
Wharton, the custom of the country (critics on it, Mary Edmonds customs,
costumes and customers .) Thank you for sending these materials to me .
Ollagnier christine, Ollagn_f@club-internet.fr
|We can't send materials to individuals, but your question will
be posted to wharton-l, where members may send references to you
if they have them available.
I don't know whether anyone else has noticed this, but the phrase "custom
of the country" appears in the English translation of Guy de Maupassant's
short story, "The Baptism." In the story, slavish adherence to the custom
of the country (baptism) results in the senseless death of a newborn
baby. I was researching possible literary inspiration for Julius Stewart's
painting, The Baptism, when I discovered this possible inspiration for
Wharton's book title.