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Edith Wharton

Edith Wharton was born on 24 January, 1862 in New York and died in France on 11 August, 1937. She won the Pulitzer Prize for The Age of Innocence in 1920 and was nominated for the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1927, 1928 and 1930.

Many of her stories were set among New York's high society at the turn of the century. She did not go to school but was a huge social success after her parents pushed her into attending elite gatherings in an attempt to get over her crippling shyness.



Edith Wharton Books

  • Edith Wharton Collection - 3 Books - Collection - 9780748137084 - Edith Wharton
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    Often acclaimed as one of America's finest novelists, delve into or rediscover the works of Edith Wharton with this great value three-book set. Featuring the masterpiece The Age of Innocence, later adapted into a hit film by Martin Scorsese, every novel is compelling and captivating from start to finish.

    The Age of Innocence is set during turn-of-the-century New York and finds Newland Archer torn between his respect for family traditions and his burgeoning attraction to his wife-to-be's cousin... The Children finds bachelor Martin Boyne befriending some precocious kids on a cruise ship between Algiers and Venice Martin Boyne; while The House of Mirth portrays the moral, social and economic restraints on a woman's attitude to marriage in the early 1900s.
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    'If marriage was the slow life-long acquittal of a debt contracted in ignorance, then marriage was a crime against human nature.' Two moving stories of love, loss, desire and divorce, from one of the great chroniclers of nineteenth-century New York life. Introducing Little Black Classics: 80 books for Penguin's 80th birthday. Little Black Classics celebrate the huge range and diversity of Penguin Classics, with books from around the world and across many centuries. They take us from a balloon ride over Victorian London to a garden of blossom in Japan, from Tierra del Fuego to 16th-century California and the Russian steppe. Here are stories lyrical and savage; poems epic and intimate; essays satirical and inspirational; and ideas that have shaped the lives of millions. Edith Wharton (1862-1937). Wharton's works available in Penguin Classics are Ethan Frome, The Age of Innocence, The Custom of the Country and The House of Mirth.
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    Selected & Introduced by David Stuart Davies. Traumatised by ghost stories in her youth, Pulitzer Prize winning author Edith Wharton (1862 -1937) channelled her fear and obsession into creating a series of spine-tingling tales filled with spirits beyond the grave and other supernatural phenomena. While claiming not to believe in ghosts, paradoxically she did confess that she was frightened of them. Wharton imbues this potent irrational and imaginative fear into her ghostly fiction to great effect. In this unique collection of finely wrought tales Wharton demonstrates her mastery of the ghost story genre. Amongst the many supernatural treats within these pages you will encounter a married farmer bewitched by a dead girl; a ghostly bell which saves a woman's reputation; the weird spectral eyes which terrorise the midnight hours of an elderly aesthete; the haunted man who receives letters from his dead wife; and the frightening power of a doppelganger which foreshadows a terrible tragedy. Compelling, rich and strange, the ghost stories of Edith Wharton, like vintage wine, have matured and grown more potent with the passing years.
  • AZVKQ
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    'If marriage was the slow life-long acquittal of a debt contracted in ignorance, then marriage was a crime against human nature.' Two moving stories of love, loss, desire and divorce, from one of the great chroniclers of nineteenth-century New York life. Introducing Little Black Classics: 80 books for Penguin's 80th birthday. Little Black Classics celebrate the huge range and diversity of Penguin Classics, with books from around the world and across many centuries. They take us from a balloon ride over Victorian London to a garden of blossom in Japan, from Tierra del Fuego to 16th-century California and the Russian steppe. Here are stories lyrical and savage; poems epic and intimate; essays satirical and inspirational; and ideas that have shaped the lives of millions. Edith Wharton (1862-1937). Wharton's works available in Penguin Classics are Ethan Frome, The Age of Innocence, The Custom of the Country and The House of Mirth.
  • AFJSR
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    'He seemed a part of the mute melancholy landscape, an incarnation of its frozen woe, with all that was warm and sentient in him fast bound below the surface'. Ethan Frome works his unproductive farm and struggles to maintain a bearable existence with his difficult, suspicious and hypochondriac wife, Zeena. But when Zeena's vivacious cousin enters their household as a 'hired girl', Ethan finds himself obsessed with her and with the possibilities for happiness she comes to represent. In one of American fiction's finest and most intense narratives, Edith Wharton moves this ill-starred trio towards their tragic destinies. "The Penguin English Library" - 100 editions of the best fiction in English, from the eighteenth century and the very first novels to the beginning of the First World War.
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    'It was characteristic of her that she always roused speculation, that her simplest acts seemed the result of far-reaching intentions'. A searing, shocking tale of women as consumer items in a man's world, "The House of Mirth" sees Lily Bart, beautiful and charming, living among the wealthy families of New York but reluctant to finally commit herself to a husband. In her search for freedom and the happiness she feels she deserves, Lily is ultimately ruined by scandal. Edith Wharton's shattering novel created controversy on its publication in 1905 with its scathing portrayal of the world's wealthy and the prison that marriage can become. The Penguin English Library - 100 editions of the best fiction in English, from the eighteenth century and the very first novels to the beginning of the First World War.
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    WITH AN INTRODUCTION BY LIONEL SHRIVER Newland Archer and May Welland are the perfect couple. He is a wealthy young lawyer and she is a lovely and sweet-natured girl. All seems set for success until the arrival of May's unconventional cousin Ellen Olenska, who returns from Europe without her husband and proceeds to shake up polite New York society. To Newland, she is a breath of fresh air and a free spirit, but the bond that develops between them throws his values into confusion and threatens his relationship with May. The Vintage Classics edition of The Age of Innocence is published to tie-in with the publication of the Vintage paperback of Hermione Lee's celebrated biography of Edith Wharton
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    The return of the beautiful Countess Olenska into the rigidly conventional society of New York sends reverberations throughout the upper reaches of society. Newland Archer, an eligible young man of the establishment is about to announce his engagement to May Welland, a pretty ingenue, when May's cousin, Countess Olenska, is introduced into their circle. The Countess brings with her an aura of European sophistication and a hint of scandal, having left her husband and claimed her independence. Her sorrowful eyes, her tragic worldliness and her air of unapproachability attract the sensitive Newland and, almost against their will, a passionate bond develops between them. But Archer's life has no place for passion and, with society on the side of May and all she stands for, he finds himself drawn into a bitter conflict between love and duty.
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    'They lived in a kind of hieroglyphic world, where the real thing was never said or done or even thought, but only represented by a set of arbitrary signs.' Edith Wharton's most famous novel, written immediately after the end of the First World War, is a brilliantly realized anatomy of New York society in the 1870s, the world in which she grew up, and from which she spent her life escaping. Newland Archer, Wharton's protagonist, charming, tactful, enlightened, is a thorough product of this society; he accepts its standards and abides by its rules but he also recognizes its limitations. His engagement to the impeccable May Welland assures him of a safe and conventional future, until the arrival of May's cousin Ellen Olenska puts all his plans in jeopardy. Independent, free-thinking, scandalously separated from her husband, Ellen forces Archer to question the values and assumptions of his narrow world. As their love for each other grows, Archer has to decide where his ultimate loyalty lies. ABOUT THE SERIES: For over 100 years Oxford World's Classics has made available the widest range of literature from around the globe. Each affordable volume reflects Oxford's commitment to scholarship, providing the most accurate text plus a wealth of other valuable features, including expert introductions by leading authorities, helpful notes to clarify the text, up-to-date bibliographies for further study, and much more.
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    Lily Bart is twenty-nine, beautiful and charming. She has expensive tastes, loves to gamble and socializes with the wealthy upper-class families of New York. But her meagre finances are dwindling and her place in society is slipping away from her. Her only hope of security is to find a suitable husband. However, Lily has an independence of spirit that stands in the way of her committing to the suitors available to her. As her options diminish, her friends become her enemies and her situation grows increasing perilous. In The House of Mirth, Edith Wharton gives us a witty and piercingly insightful dark satire about the privileged society of early twentieth-century New York. This beautiful Macmillan Collector's Library edition of The House of Mirth features an introduction by novelist Danuta Reah. Designed to appeal to the booklover, the Macmillan Collector's Library is a series of beautiful gift editions of much loved classic titles. Macmillan Collector's Library are books to love and treasure.
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    Lily Bart has no fortune, but she possesses everything else she needs to make an excellent marriage: beauty, intelligence, a love of luxury and an elegant skill in negotiating the hidden traps and false friends of New York's high society. But time and again Lily cannot bring herself to make the final decisive move: to abandon her sense of self and a chance of love for the final soulless leap into a mercenary union. Her time is running out, and degradation awaits. Edith Wharton's masterful novel is a tragedy of money, morality and missed opportunity.
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    'It was not so much his great height that marked him ...it was the careless powerful look that he had, in spite of a lameness checking each step like the jerk of a chain.' Set against the bleak winter landscape of New England, Ethan Frome tells the story of a poor farmer, lonely and downtrodden, his wife Zeena, and her cousin, the enchanting Mattie Silver. In the playing out of this short novel's powerful and engrossing drama, Edith Wharton constructed her least characteristic and most celebrated book. In its unyielding and shocking pessimism, its bleak demonstration of tragic waste, it is a masterpiece of psychological and emotional realism. In her introduction the distinguished critic Elaine Showalter discusses the background to the novel's composition and the reasons for its enduring success. ABOUT THE SERIES: For over 100 years Oxford World's Classics has made available the widest range of literature from around the globe. Each affordable volume reflects Oxford's commitment to scholarship, providing the most accurate text plus a wealth of other valuable features, including expert introductions by leading authorities, helpful notes to clarify the text, up-to-date bibliographies for further study, and much more.
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    'Can't you see that I don't care what anybody says?' Charity Royall lives in the small New England village of North Dormer. Born among outcasts from the Mountain beyond, she is rescued by lawyer Royall and lives with him as his ward. Never allowed to forget her disreputable origins Charity despises North Dormer and rebels against the stifling dullness of the tight-knit community surrounding her. Her boring job in the local library is interrupted one day by the arrival of a young visiting architect, Lucius Harney, whose good looks and sophistication arouse her passionate nature. As their relationship grows, so too does Charity's conflict with her guardian; darker undercurrents start to come to the surface. Summer is often compared to Wharton's other New England story, Ethan Frome, and it shares the same intensity of feeling and repression. Wharton regarded it as one of her best works, and its compelling story of burgeoning sexuality and illicit desire has a strikingly modern and troubling ambiguity. ABOUT THE SERIES: For over 100 years Oxford World's Classics has made available the widest range of literature from around the globe. Each affordable volume reflects Oxford's commitment to scholarship, providing the most accurate text plus a wealth of other valuable features, including expert introductions by leading authorities, helpful notes to clarify the text, up-to-date bibliographies for further study, and much more.
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    Edith Wharton's satiric anatomy of American society in the first decade of the twentieth century appeared in 1913; it both appalled and fascinated its first reviewers, and established her as a major novelist. The Saturday Review wrote that she had 'assembled as many detestable people as it is possible to pack between the covers of a six-hundred page novel', but concluded that the book was 'brilliantly written', and 'should be read as a parable'. It follows the career of Undine Spragg, recently arrived in New York from the midwest and determined to conquer high society. Glamorous, selfish, mercenary and manipulative, her principal assets are her striking beauty, her tenacity, and her father's money. With her sights set on an advantageous marriage, Undine pursues her schemes in a world of shifting values, where triumph is swiftly followed by dissullusion. Wharton was recreating an environment she knew intimately, and Undine's education for social success is chronicled in meticulous detail. The novel superbly captures the world of post-Civil War America, as ruthless in its social ambitions as in its business and politics. ABOUT THE SERIES: For over 100 years Oxford World's Classics has made available the widest range of literature from around the globe. Each affordable volume reflects Oxford's commitment to scholarship, providing the most accurate text plus a wealth of other valuable features, including expert introductions by leading authorities, helpful notes to clarify the text, up-to-date bibliographies for further study, and much more.
  • AEWEK
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    This title includes three beloved novels by Edith Wharton, in a couture-inspired Penguin Classics Deluxe Edition designed by a fashion illustrator for Alexander McQueen. This edition celebrates the 150th anniversary of Edith Wharton's birth in 2012. "The House of Mirth": Nineteen year old Lily Bart is in need of a rich husband to safeguard her place in the social elite. Unwilling to marry without both love and money, Lily becomes vulnerable to gossip. Wharton charts the course of Lily's life, providing a wider picture of a society in transition; a changing New York where old manners, morals and family attitudes are being replaced by the view that an individual is an expendable commodity. "The Custom of the Country": Mr and Mrs Spragg are hoping to forge an entree into society and arrange a suitably ambitious match for their only daughter. Wharton's story of Undine Spragg affords us a detailed glimpse of the interior decor of upper-class America and its nouveau riche. Through a heroine who is as vain and spoiled as she is fascinating, Wharton conveys a vision of social behaviour that is both informed and disenchanted. "The Age of Innocence": When the Countess Ellen Olenska flees Europe and her brutish husband, her rebellious independence stirs the educated sensitivity of Newland Archer, already engaged to the Countess' cousin May Welland. As the drama unfolds, Edith Wharton's sharp ironic wit and Jamesian mastery of form create a disturbingly accurate picture of men and women caught in a society that denies humanity while desperately defending "civilisation".
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    Since its publication in 1905 The House of Mirth has commanded attention for the sharpness of Wharton's observations and the power of her style. Its heroine, Lily Bart, is beautiful, poor, and unmarried at 29. In her search for a husband with money and position she betrays her own heart and sows the seeds of the tragedy that finally overwhelms her. The House of Mirth is a lucid, disturbing analysis of the stifling limitations imposed upon women of Wharton's generation. Herself born into Old New York Society, Wharton watched as an entirely new set of people living by new codes of conduct entered the metropolitan scene. In telling the story of Lily Bart, who must marry to survive, Wharton recasts the age-old themes of family, marriage, and money in ways that transform the traditional novel of manners into an arresting modern document of cultural anthropology. ABOUT THE SERIES: For over 100 years Oxford World's Classics has made available the widest range of literature from around the globe. Each affordable volume reflects Oxford's commitment to scholarship, providing the most accurate text plus a wealth of other valuable features, including expert introductions by leading authorities, helpful notes to clarify the text, up-to-date bibliographies for further study, and much more.
  • ADCMJ
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    This is a black comedy of manners about vast wealth and a woman who can define herself only through the perceptions of others. The beautiful Lily Bart lives among the nouveaux riches of New York City - people whose millions were made in railroads, shipping, land speculation and banking. In this morally and aesthetically bankrupt world, Lily, age twenty-nine, seeks a husband who can satisfy her cravings for endless admiration and all the trappings of wealth. But her quest comes to a scandalous end when she is accused of being the mistress of a wealthy man. Exiled from her familiar world of artificial conventions, Lily finds life impossible.
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    These brilliantly wrought, tragic novellas explore the repressed emotions and destructive passions of working-class people far removed from the social milieu usually inhabited by Edith Wharton's characters. "Ethan Frome" is one of Wharton's most famous works; it is a tightly constructed and almost unbearably heartbreaking story of forbidden love in a snowbound New England village. "Summer", also set in rural New England, is often considered a companion to "Ethan Frome" - Wharton herself called it 'the hot Ethan' - in its portrayal of a young woman's sexual and social awakening."Bunner Sisters" takes place in the narrow, dusty streets of late-nineteenth-century New York, where the constrained but peaceful lives of two spinster shopkeepers are shattered when they meet a man who becomes the unworthy focus of all their pent-up hopes. All three of these novellas feature realistic and haunting characters as vivid as any Wharton ever conjured, and together they provide a superb introduction to the shorter fiction of one of America's greatest writers.
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    "The real loneliness is living among all these kin d people who only ask one to pretend!" Awarded the 1921 Pulitzer Prize (the first to be presented to a woman), Edith Wharton's The Age of Innocence is a powerful depiction of love and desire in New York's glamorous Gilded Age. When Newland Archer, happily engaged to May Welland, meets his fiancee's cousin Ellen, his entire future is cast into doubt: strong-willed, witty, and entirely unpretentious, Ellen is unlike any woman he has ever met. He is torn between his infatuation for her and his duty to marry May. In subtle and elegant language, Wharton delivers a critical look at the social mores of the time.
  • BMGOR
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    Initially serialized in the Pictorial Review in 1920, The Age of Innocence is a stylistic and intimate portrayal of upper class life in New York City during the Gilded Age. Lawyer and socialite Newland Archer is about to enter a loveless marriage with a well-to-do bride, when her cousin, the exotic Ellen Olenska, enters the picture. Olenska is stuck in a bad marriage with a Polish count, and Archer finds himself in the awkward position of persuading her to save her family's reputation by staying with her husband, even though Archer himself has fallen in love with her. Combining a romantic tragedy with artful descriptions of aristocratic life in New York City, Edith Wharton's twelfth novel is now available as an elegantly designed clothbound edition with an elastic closure and a new introduction.
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    Nick Lansing and Susy Branch are young, attractive, but impoverished New Yorkers. They are in love and decide to marry, but realise their chances of happiness are slim without the wealth and society that their more privileged friends take for granted. Nick and Susy agree to separate whenever either encounters a more eligible proposition. However, as they honeymoon in friends' lavish houses, from a villa on Lake Como to a Venetian palace, jealous passions and troubled consciences cause the idyll to crumble. In this luscious novel, Edith Wharton perceptively describes the seductions and temptations of society, through the lens of a couple facing a heart-wrenching dilemma.