This article addresses how and why Edith Wharton used desert imagery in In Morocco (1920). It assesses this North African travelogue as well as her unpublished manuscript “Peter Elsom,” war reportage, and “The Seed of the Faith,” a short story set in a fictional Moroccan city. These works reveal that Wharton rarely if ever wrote of the desert as a natural ecological system. For her, the desert conveyed nostalgic longing for a mythic time before the ills of the modern era.

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