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Edith Wharton: Sex, Satire and the Older Woman
 
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Edith Wharton: Sex, Satire and the Older Woman
 
 
Palgrave Macmillan
 
 
 
 
 
16 Aug 2011
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£56.00
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9781403941268
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DescriptionReviewsContentsAuthors

Edith Wharton: Sex, Satire and the Older Woman claims that Wharton's late and critically-neglected novels, often seen as marking a decline in her writing powers, are, in fact, both experimental in form and radical in content. Drawing on a rich range of published and unpublished material to make their case, the authors offer fresh readings of Wharton's last six novels and explain the importance of European literature and culture to her work during the last phase of her writing career. Arguing that The Mother's Recompense, Twilight Sleep, The Children, Hudson River Bracketed, The Gods Arrive and The Buccaneers are built on a sophisticated dialogue between American and European tradition and values, the authors also suggest that Wharton's portrayal of ageing female characters in her last six novels anticipates contemporary unease about the cultural marginalization of the older woman in Western society.


Description

Edith Wharton: Sex, Satire and the Older Woman claims that Wharton's late and critically-neglected novels, often seen as marking a decline in her writing powers, are, in fact, both experimental in form and radical in content. Drawing on a rich range of published and unpublished material to make their case, the authors offer fresh readings of Wharton's last six novels and explain the importance of European literature and culture to her work during the last phase of her writing career. Arguing that The Mother's Recompense, Twilight Sleep, The Children, Hudson River Bracketed, The Gods Arrive and The Buccaneers are built on a sophisticated dialogue between American and European tradition and values, the authors also suggest that Wharton's portrayal of ageing female characters in her last six novels anticipates contemporary unease about the cultural marginalization of the older woman in Western society.


Reviews

"Edith Wharton: Sex, Satire, and the Older Woman is rich with observations regarding Wharton's final six novels and does a commendable job of claiming an important place for these texts in the Whartonian canon. Horner and Beer provide insightful readings of Wharton's work that will prove useful to anyone seeking to understand Wharton's place in modern literature and as a champion of expanded definitions of acceptable femininity in the early 20th century." - Studies in American Naturalism
 
"The present book is aimed at justifying the artistry in several late Wharton books. The nature of the book's contents should be attractive to anyone who enjoys Wharton's fiction, and who may not be as familiar with some of the works critiqued as with antecedent Wharton titles . . . Not only do they bring forward the readability of Wharton's later fiction, they do so in what are thoroughly readable viewpoints . . . the command of Wharton scholarship is deftly blended with ideas found in recent theoretical discourse." - South Central Review


Contents

Acknowledgements
Introduction
The Mother's Recompense
Twilight Sleep
The Children
Hudson River Bracketed
The Gods Arrive
The Buccaneers
Conclusion
Bibliography
Index


Authors

AVRIL HORNERis Emeritus Professor of English, Kingston University, UK. She is the co-author, with Sue Zlosnik, of Gothic and the Comic Turn (2005), Daphne du Maurier, Writing, Identity and the Gothic Imagination (1998), Landscapes of Desire: Metaphors in Modern Women's Fiction (1990); editor of European Gothic: A Spirited Exchange 1760-1960 (2002); co-editor of Iris Murdoch and Morality (2010); Le Gothic: Influences and Appropriations in Europe and America (2008) and Body Matters: Feminism, Textuality, Corporeality (1990).

JANET BEERis Vice Chancellor of Oxford Brookes University, UK. She is the author of Edith Wharton: Traveller in the Land of Letters (1990), Kate Chopin, Edith Wharton and Charlotte Perkins Gilman: Studies in Short Fiction (1997), Edith Wharton (2002); editor of The Cambridge Companion to Kate Chopin (2008); co-editor of Special Relationships: Anglo-American Antagonisms and Affinities, 1854-1936 (2002), American Feminism: Key Source Documents 1848-1920 (2002), The Awakening: A Sourcebook (2004), Edith Wharton's 'The House of Mirth' (2007).