The Classics Circuit: Edith Wharton on Tour

Welcome to my tour of Edith Wharton (1862-1937) for this month’s Classics Circuit. I read two books written by Edith Wharton for this tour: The House of Mirth (read my review) and The Writing of Fiction (read my review). I am really glad I read these books back to back as Wharton’s guide to writing fiction allowed me some valuable insight into her writing.

I am a huge fan of Wharton, not just for her writing, but because she was a woman far ahead of her time. Wharton’s work (which includes more than 40 books including novels, short stories, poetry, and non-fiction) typically explores the morality of  the wealthy and elite, women’s rights, and the need for order in society. She was criticized for her dark portrayal of the upper classes which included revealing their moral decay and superficiality. Wharton won the Pulitzer Prize for literature for her novel The Age of Innocence in 1920, and became the first woman to receive an honorary doctorate from Yale.

I was very lucky to be able to visit Wharton’s home in the Berkshires last spring. I met up with a group of book friends from Library Thing and toured the estate and gardens. You can read my extensive post and view the photos about that trip here. The photo to the right may be enlarged by clicking on it.

To visit all the fabulous Classics Circuit tours for Edith Wharton follow the links below:

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    • Staci on January 27, 2010 at 12:24

    This one should be a lot of fun !! 🙂

    • Teddy on January 27, 2010 at 22:36

    I didn’t know about the Classics Circuit or I may hve sign up for this one. I love Wharton. As you said, she was a woman beyond her years. I really admire her and love her writing!

  1. I love the look of the Mount! I’d lvoe to go there someday.

    Thanks for joining the Circuit. Sounds like you had a lot to say. Off to read the other posts!

    • Andi on January 28, 2010 at 05:37

    The House of Mirth is one of those books I really need to re-read. I first tackled it as a cranky grad student, and I quickly decided I didn’t like it. Don’t even remember why now. Though, happily, I did have really good luck with The Age of Innocence. Ethan Frome is around my house somewhere, and I fully intend to explore her work further.

  2. I love The Age of Innocence! I just found a new biography of Wharton by Hermoine Lee while visiting So Many Books the other day and added it to my list.

    • Wendy on January 31, 2010 at 09:22

    Staci: It ends today (the 31st), but you can go back and read all the posts – some are great!

    Teddy: They are pretty new (I think this tour was their third), so there will be plenty more opportunities!

    Rebecca: The Mount is amazing – if you get a chance, definitely go. We paid extra for a guided tour and it was well worth it. I love the idea of the Classics Circuit…a lot of fun!

    Andi: Funny – I liked House of Mirth MUCH better than The Age of Innocence…but both are worth reading as much for Wharton’s amazing writing as the story.

    Jenclair: That is the wonderful thing about blog reading, isn’t it? All those new “finds” we discover!!!

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