Author Archives: Donna Campbell

About Donna Campbell

Professor of English, Washington State University. Late nineteenth- and early 20th-century Americanist and digital humanities. https://hub.wsu.edu/campbell and http://donnamcampbell.net

Wharton in the News: EW’s copy of The Age of Innocence returns to The Mount

Edith Wharton kept restlessly editing her best sellers even through numerous print runs. In 1921, she finished fine tuning “The Age of Innocence” upon its sixth printing and tucked one edition onto the shelves at her chateau in Southeastern France.

That copy, with her signature and bookplate, has resurfaced in time for the centennial of the Pulitzer Prize-winning novel. It has been donated to the library at another of her palatial homes, the Mount, a museum in Lenox, Mass.

This is the only known English-language version of “The Age of Innocence” that belonged to Wharton, said Susan Wissler, executive director of the museum. (Examples of the writer’s copies of many of her works are already at the Mount; gaps include her collected teenage poems.) Ms. Wissler added that the museum’s book collection, as it grows, powerfully evokes Wharton’s interests and presence: “The library very much provides us with her soul.”

“She was bad . . . always.” Old New York (1924) now Public Domain!

290px-FifthAvenueHotel1860_framecrop

Photo courtesy Wikimedia.

“She was bad . . . always. They used to meet at the Fifth Avenue Hotel.”

–Edith Wharton, New Year’s Day, 1924

As of today, January 1, 2020, Wharton’s quartet of novellas Old New York is in the public domain. To celebrate this, here’s New Year’s Day (the Seventies), courtesy of Project Gutenberg Australia.

Here are PG Australia’s texts of the novellas:

The Spark, False Dawn, New Year’s Day, The Old Maid

Links to the other novels and novellas available online are being updated today and are available here: https://edithwhartonsociety.wordpress.com/works/novels-and-novellas/
NEW YEAR’S DAY
(The ‘Seventies)

I

“She was BAD…always. They used to meet at the Fifth Avenue
Hotel,” said my mother, as if the scene of the offence added to the
guilt of the couple whose past she was revealing. Her spectacles
slanted on her knitting, she dropped the words in a hiss that might
have singed the snowy baby-blanket which engaged her indefatigable
fingers. (It was typical of my mother to be always employed in
benevolent actions while she uttered uncharitable words.)

[read the rest at the link]

Edith Wharton in the News: Pen Craig Gatehouse Condo for sale

Dear EWS members,

Although we usually don’t post items for sale at the EWS site or on this listserv, it’s not every day that a piece of Edith Wharton’s original childhood home comes on the market.  The information is below, if you’re interested.

Name: Joanne Morlan

Email: joanne.morlan@yahoo.com

Website: https://www.rimonthly.com/house-lust-pen-craig-gatehouse/

Comment: Hi Donna, my husband and I live in Newport RI and are selling our condo. Our condo is located at Pen Craig — the childhood home of Edith Wharton. The Gatehouse (where the condo is located) is the last remaining element of the original Wharton estate. RI Monthly magazine just issued the attached article on our condo (see website reference above) which includes quite a bit Edith Wharton background information. I thought your members might be interested in this, and of course we would love to sell Pen Craig to an Edith Wharton admirer! I hope you will consider posting this link! Please let me know if I can provide more information to you on this! Thank you!

Wharton in the News: Edith Wharton Opera

Announcement of an Edith Wharton Opera

Composer Paul Scherer and librettist Germaine Shames have just completed studio recordings of IN VENICE: an Opera About the Pursuit of Love and Inspiration (not necessarily in that order), which is an adaptation of two of Wharton’s works, “The Muse’s Tragedy” and “The Touchstone.”  Together, these early works form a 90-minute two-act chamber opera.

The opera follows the experiences of a young biographer of a renowned poet, who chances upon the poet’s much talked-about Muse during a sojourn in Venice. They spend a week together—ostensibly, to collaborate on a volume of verse. Instead, romance blossoms. Ten years later, the biographer returns to Venice with his young socialite wife, having sold his Muse’s love letters to pay for the honeymoon. Can a Muse inspire the most sublime sonnets in the history of poetry and yet not be loved?

Interested scholars are invited to contact Paul Scherer (schereradvisors@gmail.com)  and/or Germaine Shames (germainewrites@gmail.com) for additional information.  You may also visit the following sites:

*Facebook page for In Venice  https://www.facebook.com/epicopera/.

*Website <http://germainewrites.com>*

*New Play Exchange <https://newplayexchange.org/users/2551/germaine-shames>*

*YouTube Channel <https://www.youtube.com/user/germainewrites>

CFP: EWS at ALA “Wharton, Bodies, and Mobility” Deadline 12.1.19

Edith Wharton Society Call for Papers

American Literature Association
May 21-25, 2020 San Diego, CA
Wharton, Bodies, and Mobility
The Edith Wharton Society invites papers that explore how Wharton constructs bodies in her work. Panelists might consider (but are not limited to) the following questions:
• How does the representation and/or meaning of bodies change (or not) in different places/settings?
• Who moves and who cannot, and how do bodies facilitate or hinder movement?
• How do bodies mark social acceptance and belonging?
• How does Wharton represent classed or raced bodies?
• What constitutes acceptable or unacceptable bodies?
• How do bodies coincide with upward or downward social and economic mobility?
• What role does the mobility or immobility of bodies (Wharton’s or her characters’) play in her travel writing and other nonfiction works or in depictions of travel in her fiction?
All theoretical approaches welcome, and proposals are encouraged to consider more than one of Wharton’s works, if possible. The session is organized by Gary Totten and Jennifer Haytock on behalf of the EWS. Please submit titled proposals (approx. 350 words) and a brief CV by December 1, 2019 to Jennifer Haytock at jhaytock@brockport.edu. Please include any requests for AV needs in your proposal. Scholars whose proposals are accepted must be members in good standing of the Edith Wharton Society by the time of the conference.

New Books: Audiobook of A Son at the Front

Name: Robin Siegerman

Email: robin.sieguzi@bellnet.ca

Website: http://www.RobinSiegerman.com

Where would you like this to appear? : New Books

Comment: I am an audiobook narrator and I have just completed a new recorded audiobook version of Wharton’s lesser known work, A Son at the Front, about being an American expatriate parent in Paris, of a son conscripted into the French army at the start of WWI.

The audiobook and e-book both contain an essay by Peter Buitenhuis, “Edith Wharton and the First World War” as an Afterword. His essay sheds interesting background light on Wharton’s prodigious war time charity work and provides context for her writing.

“What an incalculable sum of gifts and virtues went to make up the monster’s daily meal.” So observes American expatriate painter John Campton, whose only son is conscripted to military service in France at the beginning of WWI. In Edith Wharton’s saga, A Son at the Front, we share the character’s anguish as thousands of young men are sacrificed to the insatiable appetite of the war. The lessons are as relevant today as they were almost 100 years ago.

Available on Audible, Amazon, iTunes.

EWS Member News: Westfield Historical Society Talk set on ‘The Mysterious Death of Edgar Allan Poe’

Westfield Historical Society Talk set on ‘The Mysterious Death of Edgar Allan Poe’

As part of the Westfield Historical Society’s First Wednesday Luncheon series, Dr. Carole Shaffer-Koros, will talk about the many theories surrounding the Mysterious Death of Edgar Allan Poe on Oct. 2.

The event will begin with check-in at 11:45 a.m. at the Echo Lake Country Club, located at 515 Springfield Avenue, Westfield. Edgar Allan Poe is well known today for his Gothic horror stories as well as his poem “The Raven.”

https://www.tapinto.net/towns/westfield/articles/westfield-historical-society-talk-set-on-the-mysterious-death-of-edgar-allan-poe