Wharton in the News: “Mr. Fullerton” through Sunday at the Daniel Arts Center, Great Barrington, Mass. greatbarringtonpublictheater.org.

THEATER REVIEW: Anne Undeland’s ‘Mr. Fullerton’ an intriguing study of Edith Wharton

There’re lots of delicious ingredients in “Mr. Fullerton,” but like a good cassoulet, it needs maturation.BY DAN DWYER

Edith Wharton’s got man trouble. Not just with alcoholic and philandering husband Teddy, who takes off from their winter quarters in Paris, but also with a socially and sexually wily reporter for The London Times, Morton Fullerton, whose seductive charms plunge Edith into a torrid three-year affair. That’s the premise of playwright Anne Undeland’s new play, “Mr. Fullerton,” being staged for the first time at Great Barrington Public Theater. Indeed, the younger lover (four years Edith’s  junior) takes Edith places in bed she’s never been before. In a state of post-coital bliss, Edith queries, “Where did you learn to do that?” “Friends” demurs Fullerton. Friends, indeed, as back in London, Fullerton has a string of dalliances with men (and boys) that makes him subject to blackmail.

Review at https://theberkshireedge.com/theater-review-anne-undelands-mr-fullerton-an-intriguing-study-of-edith-wharton/

Onstage, the Pen Is Usually Duller Than the Sword

Plays about writers, including “Mr. Fullerton,” a new potboiler probing Edith Wharton’s love life, too often undermine the real brilliance of their subjects.

By Jesse GreenPublished July 28, 2021Updated July 30, 2021

GREAT BARRINGTON, Mass. — Writing is boring. I should know. I just spent a half-hour revising that first sentence.

Playwrights nevertheless like to write about writers, perhaps because of their shared tolerance for tedium. Yet beyond that, what is there really to say? Anything that fleshes out the person beneath the words tends to diminish the artistry; anything that sticks to the unfiltered words is dull.

More at https://www.nytimes.com/2021/07/28/theater/mr-fullerton-edith-wharton.html

New Articles: Edith Wharton’s Moroccan Clichés by Stacey E. Holden

Stacy E. Holden, “Edith Wharton’s Moroccan Clichés,” History Today, 5 November 2020.

Edith Wharton’s Moroccan Clichés

In 1917, the American novelist Edith Wharton travelled in Morocco seeking ‘barbaric splendor’ and an escape from war-torn Europe. Her French colonial hosts, keen to gain US support for their Protectorate, were happy to oblige.

New Books: American Snobs: Transatlantic Novelists, Liberal Culture and the Genteel Tradition by Emily Coit

American Snobs: Transatlantic Novelists, Liberal Culture and the Genteel Tradition by Emily Coit

Arguing that Henry Adams, Henry James, and Edith Wharton articulated their political thought in response to the liberalism that reigned in Boston and, more specifically, at Harvard University, American Snobs shows how each of these authors interrogated that liberalism’s arguments for education, democracy and the political duties of the cultivated elite. Coit shows that the works of these authors contributed to a realist critique of a liberal New England idealism that fed into the narrative about ‘the genteel tradition’, which shaped the study of US literature during the twentieth century. Reading texts such as The Valley of Decision and French Ways and Their Meaning, chapters on Wharton bring fresh attention to her exchanges with Harvard professors Charles Eliot Norton and Barrett Wendell. By locating Wharton in the history of literary studies in the US, American Snobs offers new perspectives on her thinking about education, race, and democracy.

This book breathes new life into the study of a set of ideas and authors, all of which are rich in their own right and illuminating for what they tell us about the period. Coit’s easy, writerly hand, her skilled close readings and her fluid movement between political context, literary history and detailed analysis are impressive.

– Lloyd Pratt, University of Oxford https://edinburghuniversitypress.com/book-american-snobs.html

New Books: Teaching Edith Wharton’s Major Novels and Short Fiction, edited by Ferda Asya

Teaching Edith Wharton’s Major Novels and Short Fiction | Ferda Asya | Palgrave Macmillanhttp://www.palgrave.comThis book meets the need of instructors for a resource that translates recent scholarship into pedagogy and implements innovative, adept, and practical approaches to teaching Edith Wharton’s versatile works and offers essays that will guide current and new instructors of Wharton’s fiction.

This book translates recent scholarship into pedagogy for teaching Edith Wharton’s widely celebrated and less-known fiction to students in the twenty-first century. It comprises such themes as American and European cultures, material culture, identity, sexuality, class, gender, law, history, journalism, anarchism, war, addiction, disability, ecology, technology, and social media in historical, cultural, transcultural, international, and regional contexts. It includes Wharton’s works compared to those of other authors, taught online, read in foreign universities, and studied in film adaptations. 



“Ferdâ Asya’s collection of essaysis the first book to address the crucial issue of teaching one of the most important masters of American fiction. The essays in this intriguing volume reveal a remarkable variety of useful pedagogical approaches to Wharton’s fiction. In their representation of a wide range of critical approaches and insistence on exploring the full range of her literary achievement, these essays provide new testimony to the enduring power of the writer and her work.”

– Alfred Bendixen, Princeton University, USA, and Executive Director of American Literature Association

“This is a rousing collection of essays on how to make Edith Wharton relevant to twenty-first century-students. With a deep understanding of the student mindset, this volume employs fresh insight and remarkable creativity to help a new generation grasp the more germane points of this surprisingly modern and still unmatched American author.”

 – Jennie Fields, author of The Age of Desire (2012)and Atomic Love (2020)

 “This volume offers essays that will guide new and experienced instructors of Wharton’s fiction. The contributors take a variety of Wharton’s texts as their subjects and approach the teaching of her work from a range of perspectives, from different theoretical contexts to varying roles in the curricula. This volume will spark new and creative approaches to teaching Wharton’s well-known and highly complex body of fiction.”

– Jennifer Haytock, Professor, SUNY Brockport, USA, and author of Edith Wharton and the Conversations of Literary Modernism (2008)

Table of contents (19 chapters) is available at the Palgrave site:


Last Call for New Books Week (due Friday, July 16).

Dear Whartonites–

Last call for “New Books Week”; I’ll include everything received up through this Friday, July 16.

On 7/1/21, 12:32 PM, “Wharton-l on behalf of Campbell, Donna M.” <wharton-l-bounces@lists.wsu.edu on behalf of campbelld@wsu.edu> wrote:

    Dear Whartonites,

    Last summer, the EWS site had a “New Books Week” featuring books and articles on Wharton, and we’d like to do the same this year.

    If you’ve published a new book or article about Wharton in 2021, please send me (whartonqueries@gmail.com or campbelld@wsu.edu) information that can be copied & pasted to the site along with a link, and it will be featured at the site, which links to Facebook and Twitter as well.