, 1993 - Fiction
- 196 pages
In 1917, when Edith Wharton published Summer, she was living in a France "steeped in the tragic realities of war." Yet she set this book far away from Paris and explored her most daring theme--a woman's awakening to her sexual needs.
Eighteen-year-old Charity Royall, is bored in the small Massachusetts town of North Dormer and ignorant of desire until she meets a visiting architect, Lucius Harney. Like the lush summer of Berkshires around them, their romance is shimmering and idyllic, but its consequences are harsh and real. And the book, for its early twentieth-century audience, was shocking.
Wharton's pellucid prose, her raw depiction of the mountain community where Charity was born, and Charity's rites of passage into adulthood elevate Summer into a groundbreaking study of society, nature, and human needs. Joseph Conrad prized this gem of a novel and Wharton also favored it. Now the modern reader can experience the most erotic fiction Edith Wharton ever wrote. This anniversary edition also contains an introduction by notable Wharton scholar Candace Waid.