A Historical Guide to Edith Wharton


Edith Wharton, arguably the most important American female novelist, stands at a particular historical crossroads between sentimental lady writer and modern professional author. Her ability to cope with this collision of Victorian and modern sensibilities makes her work especially interesting. Wharton also writes of American subjects at a time of great social and economic change-Darwinism, urbanization, capitalism, feminism, world war, and eugenics. She not only chronicles these changes in memorable detail, she sets them in perspective through her prodigious knowledge of history, philosophy, and religion. A Historical Guide to Edith Wharton provides scholarly and general readers with historical contexts that illuminate Wharton's life and writing in new, exciting ways. Essays in the volume expand our sense of Wharton as a novelist of manners and demonstrate her engagement with issues of her day.
  • Oxford University Press; January 2003
  • ISBN 9780199727339
  • Read online, or download in secure PDF format
  • Title: A Historical Guide to Edith Wharton
  • Author: Carol J. Singley (ed.)
  • Imprint: Oxford University Press

In The Press

"Expertly assembled and introduced by Carol J. Singley, the Oxford volume amply verifies what one of its contributors calls the 'recuperation of Wharton's reputation' and 'the thriving state of Wharton scholarship today'.... [An] absorbing and provocative collection of essays."--Legacy: A Journal of American Women Writers

About The Author

Carol J. Singley is Associate Professor of English at Rutgers University-Camden. She is past president of the Edith Wharton Society.