The Old Maid
An unwed mother gives up her daughter so that the child can join New York City's fashionable society of the mid-1800s. Years later, on the eve of the girl's wedding, "Aunt" Charlotte's long-suppressed anguish surfaces.
Edith Wharton was a master of the novella form, and this tale of a mother's tragic sacrifice is one of her greatest contributions to the genre. It provides a fine example of her keen eye for observing and articulating the telling details of class and society. Available at last in a stand-alone edition, this enduringly popular story first appeared serialized in The Red Book Magazine in 1922 and later in an anthology. The basis for a successful Broadway show of the 1930s, it was later adapted into a popular film starring Bette Davis and Miriam Hopkins.
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