Edith Wharton was one of America's most popular and prolific writers, becoming the first woman to win the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction in 1921. In a publishing career spanning seven decades, Wharton lived and wrote through a period of tremendous social, cultural and historical change. Bringing together a team of international scholars, this volume provides the first substantial text dedicated to the various contexts that frame Wharton's remarkable career. Each essay offers a clearly argued and lucid assessment of Wharton's work as it relates to seven key areas: life and works, critical receptions, book and publishing history, arts and aesthetics, social designs, time and place, and literary milieux. These sections provide a broad and accessible resource for students coming to Wharton for the first time while offering scholars new critical insights.
• This is the first volume to focus on the contexts that produced Edith Wharton's long and prolific career • Features a wide range of coverage, including social, literary, cultural, archival and historical contexts • The editor has assembled a team of high-caliber international Wharton scholars to contribute lively and informative essays
List of illustrations; Notes on contributors; List of abbreviations; Preface; Part I. Life and Works: 1. Edith Wharton: contextual revisions Laura Rattray; 2. Chronology: Wharton in cultural and historical context Pamela Knights and Laura Rattray; 3. Biography Melanie Dawson; 4. Composition and publication Sharon Kehl Califano; 5. Portraits of Wharton Susan Goodman; Part II. Critical Receptions: 6. Contemporary reviews 1877–1938 Heidi M. Kunz; 7. Obituaries Linda De Roche; 8. 'Justice' to Edith Wharton?: The early critical responses Melissa M. Pennell; 9. Modern critical receptions Jessica Schubert McCarthy; Part III. Book and Publishing History: 10. Wharton and her editors Sharon Shaloo; 11. Selling Wharton Gary Totten; 12. Serialization Elsa Nettels; 13. Short story markets Bonnie Shannon McMullen; Part IV. Arts and Aesthetics: 14. Stage adaptations of Wharton's fiction John Dennis Anderson; 15. Wharton's writings on screen Anne-Marie Evans; 16. Visual arts Emily J. Orlando; 17. Architecture Cecilia Macheski; 18. Interior and garden design Helena Chance; 19. Images of Wharton Katherine Joslin; Part V. Social Designs: 20. The marriage market Pamela Knights; 21. Leisured lives Maureen E. Montgomery; 22. Wharton and gender Linda Wagner-Martin; 23. Race and imperialism Margaret Toth; 24. Social transitions Adam Jabbur; Part VI. Time and Place: 25. Wharton and France William Blazek; 26. Wharton and Italy Robin Peel; 27. Wharton and World War I Julie Olin-Ammentorp; 28. The 1920s Gail D. Sinclair; 29. Wharton and the Great Depression Carol J. Singley; Part VII. Literary Milieux: 30. Literary influences Judith P. Saunders; 31. Wharton and the American romantics Linda Costanzo Cahir; 32. The novel of manners Cecilia Macheski; 33. Naturalism Donna Campbell; 34. Modernism Jennifer Haytock; Further reading; Index.