Category Archives: New Books

New Books and Articles: Sharon Kim, “The Dark Flash: Epiphany and Heredity in The House of Mirth.”

Kim, Sharon. “The Dark Flash: Epiphany and Heredity in The House of Mirth.”
Literary Epiphany in the Novel, 1850-1950: Constellations of the Soul. New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2012.

The book chapter is a revised and updated version of the article,
“Lamarckism and the Construction of Transcendence in The House of Mirth.” Studies in the Novel 38 (2006): 187-210.

New Books: Edith Wharton’s Summer, ed. and introd. Laura Rattray, in Oxford World Classics

Summer cover

Wharton’s 1917 novel, Summer, is now available as an Oxford World Classics from Oxford University Press, edited and with an extensive introduction by Laura Rattray (University of Glasgow). The only edition to reprint Wharton’s preferred text, the first UK edition, it also features an extensive chronology, up-to-date bibliography and notes informed by the latest scholarship.

“The ending is harsh, indeed shocking on account of a theme of incest which haunts the narrative, yet  the psychology of the novel is far ahead of its time, beautifully expressed, and still instructive as to the  fate of women in societies where they have no agency or power. Wharton fans will not be             disappointed.” –             Oxford Today, Richard Lofthouse            “So, there’s lots here to ponder, and lots to enjoy. This edition has an excellent and informative   introduction by Laura Rattray, plus all the textual and explanatory notes, chronologies, and   bibliographies any curious person could possibly want.” – Harriet Devine, Shiny New Books

Further details available here:

New Books: Sacramental Shopping: Louisa May Alcott, Edith Wharton, and the Spirit of Modern Consumerism


sacramentalSacramental Shopping
Louisa May Alcott, Edith Wharton, and the Spirit of Modern Consumerism
Sarah Way Sherman

Becoming Modern: New Nineteenth-Century Studies
University of New Hampshire Press

Illuminates modern consumer culture and its challenges to American identity and values in two classic novels

Written a generation apart and rarely treated together by scholars, Little Women (1868) and The House of Mirth (1905) share a deep concern with materialism, moral development, and self-construction. The heroines in both grapple with conspicuous consumption, an aspect of modernity that challenges older beliefs about ethical behavior and core identity.

Placing both novels at the historical intersection of modern consumer culture and older religious discourse on materialism and identity, Sarah Way Sherman analyzes how Alcott and Wharton rework traditional Protestant discourse to interpret their heroines’ struggle with modern consumerism. Her conclusion reveals how Little Women’s optimism, still buoyed by otherworldly justice, providential interventions, and the…

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