Monthly Archives: September 2013

Edith Wharton Panel at SAMLA

Please join us at this year’s South Atlantic MLA in Atlanta, Georgia for the Edith Wharton Society’s Panel:


Friday, November 8 – 3:15 PM

Chair: Monica Miller, Louisiana State University

Secretary: Mary Carney, Gainesville State University

1. Edith Wharton, Mountain Writer – Martha Billips, Transylvania University

2. Tiepolo’s Transporting Angels: Wharton’s Homes and Travels in The Glimpses of the Moon – Cecilia Macheski, LaGuardia Community College, The City University of New York

3. Edith Wharton’s Sexual Negotiations in The Reef and The Custom of the Country – Kim Vanderlaan, California University of Pennsylvania

4. On Some Colonial Motifs in Edith Wharton’s In Morocco – Zakaria Faith, University of Maryland, Baltimore County

New Books and Articles

Newly received at the Wharton Society site:

Solan, Yair. “‘Striking Stereopticon Views’: Edith Wharton’s ‘Bunner Sisters’ and Nineteenth-Century Magic Lantern Entertainment.” Studies in American Naturalism 7.2 (2012): 135-150. Print.

Butterworth-McDermott, Christine. “Lustful Fathers and False Princes: ‘Cinderella’ and ‘Donkeyskin’ Motifs in Edith Wharton’s Summer and Katherine Mansfield’s Short Stories. Katherine Mansfield Studies. 4.1 (Fall 2012): 63-78.

Scanlan, Sean. “Going No Place? Foregrounding Nostalgia and Psychological Spaces in Wharton’s The House of Mirth.” Style 44.1-2 (2010): 207-229. Print (and online at:

Please list Edith Wharton at Home: Life at The Mount with your recent publications. It was written by the architectural historian Richard Guy Wilson with a foreword by Pauline Metcalf. John Arthur did the contemporary photography.
The book was published in September 2012 by Monacelli Press and is listed on their website.

Edith Wharton in the News: Wharton’s Berkshire Sanctuary

From NPR:

Gilding the Ages: Edith Wharton’s Berkshire Sanctuary

JARED BOWEN: Even today, Edith Wharton occupies a place as one of America’s leading literary ladies.  She was born into the upper crust of old New York in the mid-1800s—a member of high society who also exposed it through the prism of her pen. Wharton wrote more than 40 books in 40 years including “Ethan Frome” and “The Age of Innocence” for which she became the first woman awarded the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction. Today she is also remembered for her home, The Mount.  And if ever a house could serve as an autobiography, The Mount is it. Situated on a hill overlooking a lake in Lenox, Massachusetts, it was conceived by Wharton from the ground up.  She dreamed its location, guided its aesthetic principles and designed her elaborate gardens. It was in a sense, her own “House of Mirth”—which she wrote while living here.

Continue reading: Video and transcript at

Edith Wharton in the News: The Age of Innocence (1993) at Vanity Fair

From “Cinema Aphrodiso: The 25 All-Time Greatest Love Stories” at Vanity Fair


Beautiful and grave from the first strains of Gounod’s Faust to the last ray of sun bouncing off a window, Martin Scorsese’s film version of Edith Wharton’s greatest novel gets richer with every viewing. [read more at]

–Julie Olin-Ammentorp

Symposium on The Custom of the Country

Happy Birthday. Undine!


On 22 – 23 August 2013, delegates from France, Spain, Switzerland, Ireland, the USA and the UK gathered at Liverpool Hope University in the UK for a symposium designed to mark the centennial year of the publication of Edith Wharton’s landmark novel, The Custom of the Country.  The event was organised by William Blazek (Liverpool Hope University) and Laura Rattray (University of Glasgow), and co-sponsored by the Edith Wharton Society.

To mark the centenary, many of the panels and keynotes were devoted to topics pertaining specifically to The Custom of the Country, while others addressed the literary, cultural and historical contexts of Wharton’s writing.  Keynote speakers for this event were esteemed Wharton scholars Dr Pamela Knights (Independent Scholar, formerly Durham University) and Professor Gary Totten (North Dakota State University).  Dr Knights, who has published extensively on Wharton and is perhaps best known as the author of The Cambridge Introduction to Edith Wharton, gave a presentation titled “A ‘Decomposing Radiance’: The Custom of the Country, Energies and Expression.”  Professor Totten, the immediate past president of the Wharton Society and editor of Memorial Boxes and Guarded Interiors: Edith Wharton and Material Culture, gave his keynote on “Wharton’s Wild West: Undine Spragg, Medora de Mores, and the Dakota Divorce”.

As well as conference panels, papers and keynotes, delegates enjoyed tours of Liverpool, meals in the city, and a champagne birthday tea party to mark the occasion – with a specially designed cake. Undine Spragg may forget birthday special occasions; Whartonians do not. Happy 100th Undine!  Ambassador’s wife….?

A special Custom issue of The Edith Wharton Review will appear in spring 2014, featuring a selection of articles developed from symposium papers.

–Laura Rattray