Monthly Archives: May 2017

New Edith Wharton play discovered by Laura Rattray and Mary Chinery

A LOST EDITH WHARTON PLAY EMERGES FROM SCHOLARLY SLEUTHING

In February of 1901, Walter Berry, a lawyer and member of élite society in New York, expressed a regret in a letter written to his close friend Edith Wharton. “How I do wish I could run on to see the first rehearsal of the Shadow,” he wrote.

At the time, Wharton, who was thirty-nine years old, was not yet a novelist, having only published shorter fiction and poetry, as well as co-authoring, with Ogden Codman, “The Decoration of Houses,” an 1897 book about interior design. But she was a budding playwright, and, as two scholars have just deduced in an important bit of detective work, Berry’s glancing reference was to one of her works: “The Shadow of a Doubt,” a three-act play that was in production in 1901. It was to star Elsie de Wolfe as Wharton’s heroine, Kate Derwent, a former nurse married to John Derwent, a gentleman above her social station. Kate’s role in assisting the suicide of her husband’s former wife, Agnes, whom she tended to after an injury, is revealed in the course of the drama.

The production was cancelled, however, and the work slipped into obscurity. It is not mentioned by any of Wharton’s biographers, nor does Wharton mention it in her own memoir, “A Backward Glance,” in which, perhaps understandably, she skates over her brief and not especially successful career as a writer for the stage. (In the first years of the century, she had written a handful of plays, but “The Shadow of a Doubt” would have been her first professional production, had it materialized. Later, she collaborated on an adaptation of “The House of Mirth,” which proved less successful than hoped.)

http://www.newyorker.com/culture/culture-desk/a-lost-edith-wharton-play-emerges-from-scholarly-sleuthing

New Queries: French documentary on EW; EW and architecture article in EWR; EW–did she watch silent movies set in the Arab world?

Name: REBECCA BOULANGER

Email: rebecca.boulanger2@gmail.com

Website:

Where would you like this to appear? : Other

Comment: I’m a french journalist and I’m working on a documentary project for TV about Edith Wharton, and more precisely New York in Wharton’s view.
We are coming on june, and I would need to meet for an interview, someone who could talk on the purpose.
Would you accept to help me ?
Thank you in advance for your precious help.
Rebecca Boulanger
tel : 00 33 6 03 58 00 75
mail : rebecca.boulanger2@gmail.com


Name: ARAGOU DIANE

Email: diane.aragou@gmail.com

Website: http://www.arte.tv/fr/

Where would you like this to appear? : Queries and Replies

Comment: Hi,

My name is Diane, i am from a french television station called Arte : http://www.arte.tv/fr. We produce a daily cultural show : Invitation au voyage diffused every day at 4:00 pm.

http://www.arte.tv/guide/fr/071100-007-A/invitation-au-voyage

I am contacting you because i am working with an other journalist on Edith Wharton in New York. Our projet is to film New York though her eyes for a short movie. Do you have some advices to give me ? Do you know people who would be glad to talk about her and about New York ?

Best regards,

Diane Aragou
Journalist Arte
00 33 (0)7 87 03 17 43


Name: Rita

Email: dakejuinf@gmail.com

Website:

Where would you like this to appear? : Queries and Replies

Comment: I’m doing a research on Edith Wharton and architecture, and I’m wondering where I can find the abstract or the essay:
Beacom, Betsy Currier. “The Decoration of Houses and the Role of space in the Construction of Edith Wharton’s Authorial Self.” Edith Wharton Review 28.2 (Fall 2012): 9-16.
Thank you.

[The Edith Wharton Review is now at Penn State Press (see sidebar); you should be able to get the article either there or through a source such as Project Muse. You can also try contacting the author to receive a copy. –D. Campbell]

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Name: Stacy E. Holden

Email: sholden@purdue.edu

Website:

May we publish your name and email address?: Yes

Comment: I am reading In Morocco (1920) and wonder if Edith Wharton ever watched any of the popular silents of her era set in the Arab world. Has anyone seen anything written by her that addresses her feelings about movies as a new industry? And what films she saw and was affected by? And if she thought Hollywood’s imaginings would translate to other places in the world, whether that be France or North Africa? If anyone has any information about Edith Wharton’s view of Hollywood, it would be much appreciated!

CFP: Edith Wharton panel at SAMLA (Deadline: 6.1.17)

SAMLA 2017 CFP

The Edith Wharton Society is expanding and extending the call for proposals for the South Atlantic Modern Language Association Conference (SAMLA 89) to be held in Atlanta, Georgia, November 3-5, 2017.  The Society is widening its call for papers to any aspect of Wharton studies. The conference topic is High Art / Low Art: Borders and Boundaries in Popular Culture, so papers related to this topic will be welcome but not required.  Please submit a 300-500 word abstract and one page CV as email attachments to Mary Carney at mary.carney@ung.edu on or before Thursday, June 1, 2017.