The Descent of Man and Other Stories
Lethbury, surveying his wife across the dinner table, found his transient glance arrested by an indefinable change in her appearance. "How smart you look! Is that a new gown?" he asked. Her answering look seemed to deprecate his charging her with the extravagance of wasting a new gown on him, and he now perceived that the change lay deeper than any accident of dress. -from "The Mission of Jane" The sly wit and penetrating wisdom of Edith Wharton-one of the most celebrated novelists in the English language-is ever on tap in this essential collection of her short fiction. The social chronicler of the Gilded Age, she exposed the excesses and hypocrisies of refined society in fiction replete with passion, sexual politics, and the rumblings of incipient feminism... as well as astonishingly dramatic storytelling. Here in one volume is a treasure trove of Wharton's short fiction. The Descent of Man, and Other Stories, first published as a collection in 1904, features short stories that appeared in fashionable publications including Scribner's, Cosmopolitan, and Collier's Weekly. Also in this volume is the novella "Madame De Treymes," first published in 1907, the tale of an American woman in the unpleasant thrall of a French aristocrat. American author EDITH WHARTON (1862-1937) was born into a wealthy New York family and made a career of criticizing and satirizing her own high society in fiction. Her best-known novels include The House of Mirth (1905), Ethan Frome (1911), and The Age of Innocence (1920), which won the Pulitzer Prize.
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Review: The Descent of Man, and Other Stories (Dodo Press)User Review - Goodreads
Some silly, romantic fripperies to leaven out some searingly intense social criticism. Full review at my blog.