John Murray was effectively Edith Wharton's first British publisher, bringing out three of her works between 1900 and 1902: The Touchstone (1900) (in Britain, A Gift from the Grave), Crucial Instances (1901), and The Valley of Decision (1902). The correspondence between Wharton and Murray, until recently unknown to Wharton scholars, sheds light on the composition of, and Wharton's stated intentions for, the texts in question, as well as on her early professional evolution. This article places this correspondence in the context of Wharton's early career, and examines some of the correspondence between Wharton and Murray in detail (that concerning The Valley of Decision, in particular).

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