Category Archives: Queries

Queries & Replies:

Hi folks! My name is Lily Curtis, and I am a high school teacher at Shepherd Hill Regional High School in Dudley, Massachusetts. I teach two different sophomore classes who are both currently reading Ethan Frome. My plan for an end of unit assessment is a piece of narrative writing where students either extend the story or change the ending as the time period switches back to that of the present with the narrator. I want them to include narrative elements and dialogue appropriate to characterization. I would love to involve the society in some way to make the assignment more “real” for my students and get them writing for an authentic audience. If anyone would be available to come into the school as a guest member to listen to student adaptations when they are completed, it would be an amazing help! If anyone has additional ideas of how they would like to be involved, or come in and help during a writer’s workshop leading up the due date, that would be awesome! Feel free to email me separately!

Name: Lily Curtis

Email: lcurtis@dcrsd.org

Website: http://www.dcrsd.org/schools/shepherd-hill-regional-high-school

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Queries: Introduction of Ellen in TheAge of Innocence

My name is Robin Oliveira. I live in Seattle. I am the author of three books, My Name is Mary Sutter, I Always Loved You, and Winter Sisters, all historical fiction. I hold an MFA in Writing from Vermont College of Fine Arts. I’m researching my next book  and came across your name while perusing the Edith Wharton Society Web site. The book will not be non-fiction, but fiction.
I have a question and I’m wondering whether or not you can either direct me to someone who is an expert on The Age of Innocence, or whether or not you have considered the following question. I realize I’m imposing, and if you are too busy to address my question, thank you for your time, and I understand.
I’ve been studying The Age of Innocence in preparation for my new book. I’m very interested in the role of rumor in the narrative. There are many ways in which rumor works in the novel, but I’ve run into an interesting, almost niggling example. In my close reading of the text, I’ve noticed that Wharton gives three separate descriptions of Countess Olenska’s arrival in NY.
One,  she appears suddenly and without warning: chapter II: Archer knew that she had suddenly arrived from Europe a day or two previously “
Two,  her uncle Mingott went to NY to retrieve her: chapter II: “I believe Lovell Mingott went out to get her….” This is Lefferts.
(Both can’t be true, since Archer is so close by now to the Mingott family that he would have known whether or not Mingott went out to get her. Mingott’s absence and errand would have been known to NYC society.)
And third, all NY knew she was coming: I can’t at this moment, pinpoint it in the text, but there is a reference that says it was known to everyone that she was coming.
MY question is whether or not this inconsistency in the text is something Wharton scholars have discussed to your knowledge? If so, have they concluded that Wharton was deliberate in placing three different explanations of Ellen’s arrival as a subtle machination of rumor in the novel? Or, perhaps it is a way to increase the mystery around the Olenska character? Both seem possible to me. Less possible is that Wharton was careless. The novel is so meticulously crafted that as an author, I doubt she was, but I’m wondering.
Have you an understanding/opinion?
Thank you very much for your time,
Sincerely,
Robin Oliveira

Wharton Queries: What makes Wharton a significant short story writer?

I am currently an undergraduate at the University of Suffolk in the UK and in my second year of a BA Hons in English. Our current assignment is an overview and appraisal of a significant short story writer and I have chosen to write about Edith Wharton.

Would you therefore be able to suggest why Edith Wharton is so significant in the field of Short Story writers and why the popularity of her short stories still endures. Also, if you think her short stories were instrumental in bringing about social awareness and change for women?

Thank you very much in advance.

Caroline Roberts
Undergraduate

s184868@ucs.ac.uk

Wharton Queries: Teachable EW story involving gender and class?

Hello Wharton-loving friends,
I’m a high school teacher about to move my students from a unit on Jane Eyre into American literature including Fitzgerald, Hemingway, and some contemporary writers. I wish we had time to read Ethan Frome, but we don’t. Is there a Wharton short story you would particularly recommend as relatively accessible, relatively short, and interested in the matters of gender and class that interest my students?
Gratefully,
Lelac.

Queries: House of Mirth illustration

Although I read Edith Wharton’s novel The Age of Innocence (1920) before reading her novel The House of Mirth (1905),
I am curious to know in which book and in which chapter does the text for the illustration that reads…
“She lingered on the broad stairway, looking down into the hall below”, appear?

Thanks

 —
This illustration is the frontispiece for The House of Mirth and appears opposite the title page; I’ve just added this information, which wasn’t available before. It is from Chapter 3, page 38 of the first edition. You can see it and other illustrations at http://public.wsu.edu/~campbelld/wharton/hmirth1.html.
–Donna Campbell

Wharton Queries: Rights to House of Mirth (play version)?

‘The House of Mirth’ is one of my favourite films. I will admit to being a big Gillian Anderson fan but I thought the whole cast was fantastic.

I work on projects for the Scottish Mental Health Arts and Film Festival here in Inverness and I think the story of Lily Bart is still relevant in this day and age.

Therefore I was enquiring if the rights were available to produce a play based on the book and film.

I look forward to hearing from you,

Kind Regards

Graeme Watson

ness@hotmail.com

Wharton Queries: Age of Innocence and Cather’s A Lost Lady

For my master paper cultural sciences I am studying Edith Wharton’s The Age of Innocence and Willa Cather’s A Lost Lady.

The focus of my study has become the question whether there are apparent new woman aspects in the main characters in these two novels. That means studying and researching literature about these authors but also about the society they lived in and the literature of that time. I have access to the databases of Ghent University and of the Dutch Open University and I read about the recent publications of The Edith Wharton Society but up until now I cannot find a clear statement of Edith Wharton about the new woman phenomena. I wonder whether she made such a statement or published her opinion about it. Could you give me some advice where to find some traces?

I am much obliged for your help.

 

Best regards.

 

Gijs den Dubbelden