Category Archives: Queries

Queries and Replies: “Afterward”

Name: Barbara MacRobie
Email: bmacrobie@gmail.com
Website:
May we publish your name and email address?: Yes
Comment: In every text of “Afterward” that I have found online and in print in libraries, when Robert Elwell’s spirit encounters Mary in the garden, she tells him that her husband cannot receive him and he should come back.

“Then I’m afraid, this being his working-time, that he can’t receive you now. Will you give me a message, or come back later?” The visitor, again lifting his hat, briefly replied that he would come back later, and walked away, as if to regain the front of the house. As his figure receded down the walk between the yew hedges, Mary saw him pause and look up an instant at the peaceful house-front bathed in faint winter sunshine; and it struck her, with a tardy touch of compunction, that it would have been more humane to ask if he had come from a distance, and to offer, in that case, to inquire if her husband could receive him.

But this makes no sense at all in light of the stunning conclusion:
“Oh, my God! I sent him to Ned — I told him where to go! I sent him to this room!” she screamed out.
No, she didn’t – she turned him away!

HOWEVER, in the version of this story that I first read, in an old collection of short stories, Mary at first turns the visitor away but then seeing his obvious dejection feels compassion and tells him he can go to the house to see if Ned will receive him and adds, “You’ll find him in the library.”

Can anyone explain this discrepancy? Did Edith Wharton revise the story but somehow the first version is what keeps getting reprinted? And can I find the much scarier version anywhere?

Queries and Replies: Edith Wharton on Long Island

ame: Diane Lundegaard
Email: Mselle@verizon.net
Website: http://Lakeartstudiopaintings.com
May we publish your name and email address?: Yes
Comment: After reading the query regarding Greenwood Cemetery I thought I might ask if anyone knows if Mrs. Wharton visited the following places on Long Island since one of her relatives, John D. Jones donated their land and buildings in the late 1800’s: the Cold Spring Harbor Fish Hatchery, (where I work as public relations director), the Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, (originally known as the Brooklyn Institute of Arts and Sciences).  Since the Jones were members of St. John’s Episcopal Church, built circa 1835, (located behind the Hatchery) I wonder if she may have visited the Church. I read in Hermione Lee’s book, Edith Wharton, that Mrs. Wharton visited the Bayard Cutting family at their Long Island residence which is now open to the public. I therefore wonder if she may have visited these other places. I would like to organize an Edith Wharton Long Island tour, and any information would be most helpful. Thank you. Oct. 29, 2015

Wharton Queries: Wharton and Green-Wood Cemetery in Brooklyn

Email: lisa_alpert@green-wood.com

Website: http://www.green-wood.com

Comment: Hello Nice People at the Edith Wharton Society,

I’m writing with a bit of an unusual request, but here goes. Green-Wood Cemetery in Brooklyn was founded in 1838 as a rural cemetery and is the “permanent home” of some of New York City’s most well known figures of the 19th century. We often cite the famous authors, politicians, etc. who were known to have visited, including Charles Dickens, Mark Twain, Walt Whitman, Ulysses S. Grant, Eleanor Roosevelt, Franklin Roosevelt, Theodore Roosevelt, Al Smith, and many more. It seems inconceivable that Miss Wharton would not have been at the cemetery for a funeral or burial at least once during her tenure in New York. Yet, we have no direct evidence of it. Might one of your scholars have something in her diaries or writings that would provide proof her visiting this historic cemetery?

We would be most grateful for your help,

All best,

Lisa Alpert

Director of Development and Marketing

Green-Wood

New Query: Edith Wharton and Mary Gayley Senni correspondence?

Name: emanuela bruni
Email: e.bruni@governo.it
Comment: I am a journalist and I’m writing the story of Mary Gayley Senni, she realized in the 1931 the municipal rose garden in Rome and write on many rewiew about flower, I read on the web that in 1933 there was one of Edith Wharton and Senni an exchange of correspondence. Do you have any information on their relationship?
thanks
May we publish your name and email address?: Yes

New Query: Date of unpublished “Fiction and Criticism”?

Email: lisame2@gmail.com
Website: http://lisamendelman.wordpress.com
Comment: Is there any speculation about the approximate date of Wharton’s unpublished “Fiction and Criticism,” reprinted in The Uncollected Writings (1997)? Even a decade (late 20s/early 30s)? Thanks so much!

Reply by dhefko:

n the second paragraph of “Fiction and Criticism,” Wharton quotes an article titled “Notes of a Novel Reader” from Volume 36 of _The Critic_, published in 1900. The time markers in the first two paragraphs of Wharton’s piece (“Not many years ago” and “A few years since”) suggest that the piece in _The Critic_ was fairly contemporaneous with Wharton’s critique of it. Based on these clues, it seems reasonable to suggest that Wharton wrote “Fiction and Criticism” within a few years of 1900—and probably no later than 1910.

New Query: Wharton to Berenson?

Could any one please confirm that these lines come from a letter Wharton sent to Berenson?
“You mustn’t think there haven’t been bits of blue sky all the same; there always are with me; I can hardly ever wholly stop having a good time!”
And where could I have the source of the quote?
Thank you!

Queries and Replies: Membership

I recently purchased a student membership with the Edith Wharton Society. I have received my email confirmation that my payment was processed. My question at this time is: is my Edith Wharton Society membership now valid? Also, will I received the next issue of the Edith Wharton Review in the mail? When can I expect it?

Thank you in advance,

Heather Degeyter

University of Louisiana at Lafayette

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


Yes, you should be enrolled as a member now, but you can always check with the Membership Coordinator to be sure: https://edithwhartonsociety.wordpress.com/membership/

The Edith Wharton Review is published in fall and spring, so you should receive the next issue.