I thought it might interest some members of the Edith Wharton Society to know that the spring issue (n° 177) of the influential French review, Commentaire, has just published “L’Amérique en guerre” with a short introduction by Jean-Claude Casanova who read the translation in the February 2018 issue of the TLS and then found the original text in the March 1918 issue of the Revue Hebdomadaire. French admirers of Wharton (of which there are many) will now be able to acquaint themselves with another aspect of the talent of the “grande romancière, poétesse et essayiste américaine.”
From Laura Rattray: Just a quick note now to let you know about our next Tea with the Transatlantic Literary Women event on Wed 13 April at 5pm UK/noon NYC when we’re delighted to be joined by Dr Lina Geriguis who will be talking about Ecoliteracy and Ethan Frome
The book group I lead just read The Buccaneers. A central question arose: how is it that a writer –– in this case, Marion Mainwaring –– was able to “complete” Edith Wharton’s unfinished manuscript? (And find a major publisher willing to print it?) Was Mainwaring a friend of Edith Wharton’s? Did she need permission from Wharton’s literary executors? What does the Edith Wharton Society, as a body of EW scholars, think of the results?
Are there other instances where an authors’ unfinished work was completed by someone else?
Any insights you can offer would be most appreciated.
I can’t speak for all EWS members about this edition, but Marion Mainwaring (1922-2015) was a translator and literary critic who researched materials for Wharton’s first modern biographer R. W. B. Lewis on his 1985 biography of Edith Wharton. In addition to her edition of The Buccaneers, she published Mysteries of Paris: The Quest for Morton Fullerton (2001), billed as “The first complete account of Edith Wharton’s unknown lover.” –Donna Campbell
Guest editors Melanie Dawson and Jennifer Haytock seek contributions for a special issue of the Edith Wharton Review focusing on “Wharton and Ecology.” Essays may cover any aspect of Wharton’s writing about the natural world, gardening, surrounding environmental contexts/histories, deep time, animal nature(s), healthy and unhealthy ecosystems, and travel to and within specific environmental systems. “Ecologies” may also encompass systems and networks that include but also extend beyond the natural world. We welcome attention to all aspects of Wharton’s work (fiction, poetry, travel writing, plays, letters, gardens).
Essays are due by September 15, 2022 for publication in spring 2023. Essays should be between 20 and 30 pages long, including notes and Works Cited, in accordance with MLA guidelines. We welcome inquiries at email@example.com and firstname.lastname@example.org.
Just a quick note now to let you know about our next Tea with the Transatlantic Literary Women event on Wed 9 March at 5pm UK/noon NYC when we’re delighted to be joined by Dr Isabelle Parsons who will be talking about Wharton’s shockingly underrated novel, The Fruit of the Tree. (Please note this talk is taking place a week later than originally advertised due to ongoing industrial action across the UK HE sector.)
We really hope you’ll join us for what promises to be a great talk. (And our Wharton friends may like to know that Isabelle’s PHD was supervised by the one and only Shaf Towheed.)
Ghosts is a story collection originally published in 1937, shortly after Wharton’s death at age 75, and now reissued by New York Review Books. Its opening story, “All Souls,” was the last piece of fiction she completed. It tells the story of a stubborn elderly woman, living alone in a New England mansion, who sprains her ankle on Halloween and is soon after abandoned by all her servants, who are perhaps absorbed in occult activity. The same mix of a realistic social world and some eerie disruption therein is maintained throughout the collection. We meet a well-to-do New York lawyer who somehow receives letters from his dead first wife, and the ghost of a domestic servant who tries to warn her successor about her abusive employer. The stories are all suspenseful, but not grisly. The possible witchcraft in “All Souls,” for instance, is not the point of the tale, which derives most of its plot and horror from the protagonist’s painstaking, night-long investigation, which reveals the abject isolation of her twilight years.
Originally published between 1902 and 1937, the stories are also haunted by the ghosts of greater social change all around Wharton. They were written from the Progressive Era to the Great Depression, and through the First World War. Class conflict, the costs of new forms of business, the growing pains of a rapidly industrializing society, and the particular toll of all those things on women are central to these stories as well. For Wharton, the ghosts of the nascent American century were as much material as supernatural.
The EWS invites proposals on any aspect of history in relation to Wharton’s life and work (historical fiction; alternative histories; Wharton as historian; archaeology; historical ecology; taxonomies; museum studies; and other).
Please submit titled proposals (approx. 350 words) and a brief CV by March 15, 2022 to Myrto Drizou (email@example.com). 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.
The Edith Wharton Society is delighted to announce three prizes for 2022: the Elsa Nettels Prize for a Beginning Scholar, the Edith Wharton Society Award for Archival Research, and the Edith Wharton Society Undergraduate Research Prize. Below please find all calls for submissions. All submission materials should be sent via email by June 30, 2022 to current EWS President, Jennifer Haytock, SUNY Brockport, firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Elsa Nettels Prize for a Beginning Scholar
This award, formerly known as the “Edith Wharton Society Prize for a Beginning Scholar,” established in 2005, recognizes the best unpublished essay on Edith Wharton’s work by a beginning scholar, advanced graduate student, independent scholar, or faculty member who has held a full-time appointment for four or fewer years. All entries will be considered for publication in The Edith Wharton Review, published by Penn State University Press. The author of the prize-winning essay will receive an award of $250.
How to apply:
Submissions should be 20-30 double-spaced pages long and follow the 8th edition MLA style, using endnotes rather than footnotes.
Submissions should include two attached files: an anonymized MS Word version of your paper and a separate cover letter containing the applicant’s name, essay title, academic status, e-mail address, postal address, and the award name.
Please use the subject line: “EWS Elsa Nettels Prize for a Beginning Scholar.”
The Edith Wharton Society Award for Archival Research
The archival award, in the amount of $500, enables a scholar to conduct research at one of the Edith Wharton archives at Wharton’s library at The Mount in Lenox, MA, the Wharton Collection at Yale University’s Beinecke Library, or the Wharton papers at the Harry Ransom Center at the University of Texas.
Funds must be used for transportation, lodging, and other expenses related to archival research. Notification of the award will take place by August 15, 2022. The award can be used between August 15, 2022 and August 14, 2023. A brief report detailing some aspect(s) of the research (not intended to preempt publication in other scholarly venues) will be due to the EWS president by September 1, 2023 and will be published in the Edith Wharton Review.
How to apply:
Submissions should include a proposal (of no more than two single-spaced pages) that describes the applicant’s overarching research project, its contribution to Wharton scholarship, the applicant’s scholarly preparation, and the relevance of the archive to the project’s completion.
Also include two additional attachments: a CV and a separate cover letter containing your current affiliation, rank, and mailing address.
Please use the subject line: “EWS Award for Archival Research.”
The Edith Wharton Society Undergraduate Research Prize
First offered in 2014, the undergraduate research prize is open to students at all undergraduate levels. Papers should be no more than fifteen pages long and can address Wharton’s works in any genre. The winning essay will be published on the EWS website, and the author will receive an award of $100.
How to apply:
Please send an anonymized electronic submission as an email attachment in Microsoft Word, along with a separate attached cover letter containing your name, essay title, undergraduate institution, the name of your faculty mentor, email address (and perhaps an alternate email, if your email address is about to change), postal address, and the name of the award.
Please use the subject line: “EWS Undergraduate Research Prize.”
The Edith Wharton Society sees its commitment to Wharton’s writing as including financial support for Wharton scholarship, with two awards specifically for beginning scholars. We thank all in the Wharton society who have donated to these prizes over the years, many of whom have been award recipients; your support of this endeavor enables our generosity. If you are inclined to donate to support this year’s awards, a donation portal is linked here.