Over the past few decades, Edith Wharton’s work has seen an impressive surge of scholarly interest. A significant number of studies on Wharton’s oeuvre, the dynamic presence of the Edith Wharton Society, and the growing audience of the Edith Wharton Review (published by Penn State University Press) have expanded previously held views of Wharton as a “grande dame” whose literary vision was limited to the moribund mores of late nineteenth-century New York aristocracy, as seen in critically acclaimed novels such as The House of Mirth (1905) and The Age of Innocence (1920). Wharton is no longer seen as the “literary aristocrat” that Vernon Parrington famously decreed a century ago. Or, rather, scholars have acknowledged the complexity of an author whose social pedigree and cultural capital enabled—rather than stunted—a lucid, prescient, and remarkably complex view of American modernity. With her distinctively ironic perspective, Wharton portrayed a society in flux, torn between...

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