Edith Wharton

Melvyn Bragg and guests discuss the works of Wharton (1862-1937) such as The Age of Innocence for which she won the Pulitzer Prize and was the first woman to do so, The House of Mirth, and The Custom of the Country. Her novels explore the world of privileged New Yorkers in the Gilded Age of the late C19th, of which she was part, drawing on her own experiences and written from the perspective of the new century, either side of WW1 . Among her themes, she examined the choices available to women and the extent to which they could ever really be free, even if rich.

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  • Dame Hermione Lee 5 episodes
    Biographer, former President of Wolfson College, Oxford
  • Bridget Bennett 3 episodes
    Professor of American Literature and Culture at the University of Leeds
  • Laura Rattray No other episodes
    Reader in North American Literature at the University of Glasgow

Reading list

  • Edith Wharton's Argument with America
    Elizabeth Ammons (University of Georgia Press, 1982) Google Books →
  • The Cambridge Companion to Edith Wharton
    Millicent Bell (ed.) (Cambridge University Press, 1995) Google Books →
  • My Dear Governess: The Letters of Edith Wharton to Anna Bahlmann
    Irene Goldman-Price (Yale University Press, 2012) Google Books →
  • Edith Wharton's Women: Friends and Rivals
    Susan Goodman (University Press of New England, 1990) Google Books →
  • Edith Wharton and the Conversations of Literary Modernism
    Jennifer Haytock (Palgrave MacMillan, 2008) Google Books →
  • The Cambridge Introduction to Edith Wharton
    Pamela Knights (Cambridge University Press, 2009) Google Books →
  • Edith Wharton
    Hermione Lee (Vintage, 2008) Google Books →
  • The Letters of Edith Wharton
    R.W.B. Lewis and Nancy Lewis (eds.) (Simon & Schuster, 1988)
  • The End of the Age of Innocence: Edith Wharton and the First World War
    Alan Price (Robert Hale Ltd, 1996) Google Books →
  • Edith Wharton in Context
    Laura Rattray (ed.) (Cambridge University Press, 2012) Google Books →
  • A Historical Guide to Edith Wharton
    Carol Singley (ed.) (Oxford University Press, 2008) Google Books →
  • The Age of Innocence
    Edith Wharton (ed. Stephen Orgel) (Oxford University Press, 2008) Google Books →
  • The House of Mirth
    Edith Wharton (ed. Martha Banta) (Oxford University Press, 2008) Google Books →
  • Ethan Frome
    Edith Wharton (ed. Elaine Showalter) (Oxford University Press, 1998) Google Books →
  • Summer
    Edith Wharton (ed. Laura Rattray) (Oxford University Press, 2015) Google Books →
  • The Custom of the Country
    Edith Wharton (ed. Stephen Orgel) (Oxford University Press, 2008) Google Books →
  • Roman Fever
    Edith Wharton (introduced by Marilyn French) (Virago Press, 1998) Google Books →

Related episodes

Programme ID: m0000ml8

Episode page: bbc.co.uk/programmes/m0000ml8

Auto-category: 813.52 (American fiction, 1900-1999)

Hello (First sentence from this episode) Hello, Edith Wharton, 1862 to 1937, wrote of high society in America's Gilded Age, which for women in her novels was more of a gilded cage.