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Edith Wharton

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Edith Wharton
 
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Edith Wharton was the first woman to win a Pulitzer Prize, for The Age of Innocence. Born in 1862 into one of New York's older and richer families, she was educated here and abroad. Her works include Ethan Frome, The Reef, The Custom of the Country, The Glimpses of the Moon, and Roman Fever and Other Stories. As a keen observer and chronicler of society, she is without peer. Edith Wharton died in France in 1937.
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Edith Wharton was the first woman to win a Pulitzer Prize, for The Age of Innocence. Born in 1862 into one of New York's older and richer families, she was educated here and abroad. Her works include Ethan Frome, The Reef, The Custom of the Country, The Glimpses of the Moon, and Roman Fever and Other Stories. As a keen observer and chronicler of society, she is without peer. Edith Wharton died in France in 1937.
Books by thisAuthor
  • The House of Mirth

    The House of Mirth
    ENDURING LITERATURE ILLUMINATED BY PRACTICAL SCHOLARSHIP An incisive portrait of New York high society and the somber economics of marriage during the late nineteenth century, Edith Wharton’s The House of Mirth tells the story of beguiling socialite Lily Bart’s ill-fated attempt to find happiness. THIS ENRICHED CLASSIC EDITION INCLUDES: • A concise introduction that gives the reader important background information • A chronology of the author’s life and work • A timeline of significant events that provides the book’s historical context • An outline of key themes and plot points to guide the reader’s own interpretations • Detailed explanatory notes • Critical analysis and modern perspectives on the work • Discussion questions to promote lively classroom and book group interaction • A list of recommended related books and films to broaden the reader’s experience Simon & Schuster Enriched Classics offer readers affordable editions of great works of literature enhanced by helpful notes and insightful commentary. The scholarship provided in Enriched Classics enables readers to appreciate, understand, and enjoy the world’s finest books to their full potential.

    Summer

    Summer
    One of the first novels to deal honestly with a woman's sexual awakening,Summercreated a sensation upon its 1917 publication. The Pulitzer Prize–winning author ofEthan Fromeshattered the standards of conventional love stories with candor and realism. Nearly a century later, this tale remains fresh and relevant.

    The Custom of the Country

    The Custom of the Country
    Considered by many to be her masterpiece, Edith Wharton's second full-length work is a scathing yet personal examination of the exploits and follies of the modern upper class. As she unfolds the story of Undine Spragg, from New York to Europe, Wharton affords us a detailed glimpse of what might be called the interior décor of this America and its nouveau riche fringes. Through a heroine who is as vain, spoiled, and selfish as she is irresistibly fascinating, and through a most intricate and satisfying plot that follows Undine's marriages and affairs, she conveys a vision of social behavior that is both supremely informed and supremely disenchanted. This new edition features a new introduction and explanatory notes and reset text

    The Glimpses Of The Moon

    The Glimpses Of The Moon
    Set in the 1920s, The Glimpses of the Moon details the romantic misadventures of Nick Lansing and Susy Branch, a couple with the right connections but not much in the way of funds. They devise a shrewd bargain: they'll marry and spend a year or so sponging off their wealthy friends, honeymooning in their mansions and villas. As Susy explains, "We should really, in a way, help more than hamper each other. We both know the ropes so well; what one of us didn't see the other might -- in the way of opportunities, I mean." The other part of the plan states that if either one of them meets someone who can advance them socially, they're each free to dissolve the marriage. How their plan unfolds is a comedy of eros that will charm all fans of Wharton's work.

  • The Greater Inclination

    The Greater Inclination
    Webster's edition of this classic is organized to expose the reader to a maximum number of difficult and potentially ambiguous English words. Rare or idiosyncratic words and expressions are given lower priority compared to "difficult, yet commonly used" words. Rather than supply a single translation, many words are translated for a variety of meanings in French, allowing readers to better grasp the ambiguity of English, and avoid using the notes as a pure translation crutch. Having the reader decipher a word's meaning within context serves to improve vocabulary retention and understanding. Each page covers words not already highlighted on previous pages. If a difficult word is not translated on a page, chances are that it has been translated on a previous page.

    The Touchstone

    The Touchstone
    Stephen Glennard, a young lawyer, sells a package of love letters, written to him over the years by distinguished novelist Margaret Aubyn, to raise money to pay for his forthcoming wedding to another woman. After the wedding, his secret comes back to haunt him, and when he confesses to his wife, their marriage is reduced to resigned coexistence.

    Crucial Instances

    Crucial Instances
    Webster's edition of this classic is organized to expose the reader to a maximum number of difficult and potentially ambiguous English words. Rare or idiosyncratic words and expressions are given lower priority compared to "difficult, yet commonly used" words. Rather than supply a single translation, many words are translated for a variety of meanings in French, allowing readers to better grasp the ambiguity of English, and avoid using the notes as a pure translation crutch. Having the reader decipher a word's meaning within context serves to improve vocabulary retention and understanding. Each page covers words not already highlighted on previous pages. If a difficult word is not translated on a page, chances are that it has been translated on a previous page.

    Tales of Men and Ghosts

    Tales of Men and Ghosts
    Webster's edition of this classic is organized to expose the reader to a maximum number of difficult and potentially ambiguous English words. Rare or idiosyncratic words and expressions are given lower priority compared to "difficult, yet commonly used" words. Rather than supply a single translation, many words are translated for a variety of meanings in French, allowing readers to better grasp the ambiguity of English, and avoid using the notes as a pure translation crutch. Having the reader decipher a word's meaning within context serves to improve vocabulary retention and understanding. Each page covers words not already highlighted on previous pages. If a difficult word is not translated on a page, chances are that it has been translated on a previous page.

  • Ethan Frome

    Ethan Frome
    Edith Wharton’s most widely read work is a tightly constructed and almost unbearably heartbreaking story of forbidden love in a snowbound New England village.   This brilliantly wrought, tragic novella explores the repressed emotions and destructive passions of working-class people far removed from the elevated social milieu usually inhabited by Wharton’s characters. Ethan Frome is a poor farmer, trapped in a marriage to a demanding and controlling wife, Zeena. When Zeena’s young cousin Mattie enters their household she opens a window of hope in Ethan’s bleak life, but his wife’s reaction prompts a desperate attempt to escape fate that goes horribly wrong. Ethan Frome is an unforgettable story with the force of myth, featuring realistic and haunting characters as vivid as any Wharton ever conjured.  

    The Valley of Decision

    The Valley of Decision
    It was very still in the small neglected chapel. The noises of the farm came faintly through closed doors-voices shouting at the oxen in the lower fields the querulous bark of the old house-dog and Filomena's angry calls to the little white-faced foundling in the kitchen.

    Reef

    Reef
    "I put most of myself into that opus," Edith Wharton said of The Reef, possibly her most autobiographical novel. Published in 1912, it was, Bernard Berenson told Henry Adams, "better than any previous work excepting Ethan Frome." A challenge to the moral climate of the day, The Reef follows the fancies of George Darrow, a young diplomat en route from London to France, intent on proposing to the widowed Anna Leath. Unsettled by Anna's reticence, Darrow drifts into an affair with Sophy Viner, a charmingly naive and impecunious young woman whose relations with Darrow and Anna's family threaten his prospects for success. For its dramatic construction and acute insight into social mores and the multifaceted problem of sexuality, The Reef stands as one of Edith Wharton's most daring works of fiction.

    Madame de Treymes

    Madame de Treymes
    An American in Paris at the turn of the nineteenth century, John Durham pays court to an old flame, Fanny Frisbee, now married to the dissolute Marquis de Malrive. Devoutly Catholic, Fanny’s husband is unlikely to grant her a divorce or relinquish custody of their young son, who is heir to the family title. When the Malrive family, urged by Fanny’s enigmatic sister-in-law, Madame de Treymes, agrees to a divorce, John must decide whether or not he will pursue a future with the woman he loves, but which forces her to give up her son. Contrasting the simplicity and practicality of John’s brownstone in New York with the decadence and beauty of the Saint-Germain district of Paris, Madame de Treymes intelligently examines the social role of women within two clashing cultures. The novella was inspired by Edith Wharton’s own entrance into Parisian society, and remains one of her best-loved works of fiction. HarperPerennial Classics brings great works of literature to life in digital format, upholding the highest standards in ebook production and celebrating reading in all its forms. Look for more titles in the HarperPerennial Classics collection to build your digital library.

  • The Descent of Man, and Other Stories

    The Descent of Man, and Other Stories
    Webster's edition of this classic is organized to expose the reader to a maximum number of difficult and potentially ambiguous English words. Rare or idiosyncratic words and expressions are given lower priority compared to "difficult, yet commonly used" words. Rather than supply a single translation, many words are translated for a variety of meanings in French, allowing readers to better grasp the ambiguity of English, and avoid using the notes as a pure translation crutch. Having the reader decipher a word's meaning within context serves to improve vocabulary retention and understanding. Each page covers words not already highlighted on previous pages. If a difficult word is not translated on a page, chances are that it has been translated on a previous page.

    The Fruit of the Tree

    The Fruit of the Tree
    Originally published in 1907, this little known novel by the author of The Age of Innocence and Ethan Frome was considered controversial for its frank treatment of labor and industrial conditions, drug addiction, mercy killing, divorce, and second marriages. John Amherst, an idealistic middle manager in a New England textile mill, is committed to improving the deplorable working conditions of the laborers in his charge. But upper management, whose only concern is maximizing profits, frustrates his efforts. When Amherst eventually marries Bessy Westmore, the widow of the former mill owner, he is able at last to initiate an ambitious project of reform. But happiness for John and Bessy proves to be short-lived. It becomes quickly clear that Bessy does not understand and cannot share her new husband’s passion for just labor conditions and industrial reform. She even resents the time he devotes to his work and the way in which his expenditures impact her extravagant lifestyle. Complicating the situation is the strong friendship that Bessy’s old friend, Justine, develops with Amherst. Employed as a live-in tutor for Bessy’s daughter, Justine eventually finds herself in an untenable position. How she reacts under pressure has lasting consequences for herself and those around her. In The Fruit of the Tree, Wharton has created a gripping tale full of psychological insights, deft social portraiture, and profound ethical questions that remain challenging even today.

    A Motor-Flight Through France

    A Motor-Flight Through France
    Edith Wharton proclaims in the opening lines of A Motor-flight through France that "the motor-car has restored the romance of travel"—then sets off in the new invention to explore the cities and countryside of the nation she loved above all. Wharton's spirited account of her journey is a declaration of her passion for travel and her deep affinity for the people and places of France.

    Sanctuary

    Sanctuary
    As her marriage to an eminent and wealthy bachelor approaches, Kate Orme should feel nothing but bliss. But when she learns of Denis's guilty secret, she becomes painfully aware of her fiancé's flawed morality. Determined that no child of hers should inherit such character traits, she does everything in her power to instill in their son the highest moral code. Yet, when Dick is faced with a moral choice of his own, she can only watch to see if history will repeat itself. American novelist Edith Wharton (1862–1937) is celebrated for her finely crafted stories of New York mores, including The Age of Innocence.

  • The House of Mirth

    The House of Mirth
    100th Anniversary Edition
    A literary sensation when it was published by Scribners in 1905, The House of Mirth quickly established Edith Wharton as the most important American woman of letters in the twentieth century. The first American novel to provide a devastatingly accurate portrait of New York's aristocracy, it is the story of the beautiful and beguiling Lily Bart and her ill-fated attempt to rise to the heights of a heartless society in which, ultimately, she has no part.

    Fighting France

    Fighting France
    From Dunkerque to Belport
    As nuanced in her observations of human behavior as she is in her vivid depictions of French landscape and architecture, Wharton fully exploited her unique position as consort to Walter Barry, president of the American Chamber of Commerce in Paris, which allowed her unparalleled access to life in the trenches. Sensitive without sentimentality, and offering a valuable and extremely rare female perspective of a war dominated by the male viewpoint, this series of articles is nothing less than an inspirational testament to the strength of the human spirit at a time of the greatest adversity. 

    The Decoration of Houses

    The Decoration of Houses
    The original text of

    House of Mirth

    House of Mirth
    Lily Bart enjoys an equitable standing within the New York City elite. Although she desires a comfortable life and has received generous proposals from wealthy suitors, Lily remains single with hope for an honest and loving marriage. However, her life takes an unexpected twist when a nasty bit of gossip instigates her long descent down the social ladder. With her reputation plummeting, Lily escapes the city by joining an acquaintance on a European cruise. But this, too, causes irreparable damage to her reputation, and soon Lily finds herself disowned and friendless.

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