The Early Short Fiction of Edith Wharton

The Early Short Fiction of Edith Wharton
Volume 1

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The Early Short Fiction of Edith Wharton by Edith Wharton

Published:

1911

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The Early Short Fiction of Edith Wharton
Volume 1

By

4
(1 Review)
KerfolMrs. Manstey's ViewThe Bolted DoorThe DilettanteThe House Of The Dead HandVerse The Parting DayAeropagusA FailurePatienceWantsThe Last GiustianiniEuryalusHappiness

Book Excerpt

ere ruined front, with gaping windows through which the wild growths of the moat and the trees of the park were visible. The rest of the house was still in its robust beauty. One end abutted on the round tower, the other on the small traceried chapel, and in an angle of the building stood a graceful well-head adorned with mossy urns. A few roses grew against the walls, and on an upper window-sill I remember noticing a pot of fuchsias.

My sense of the pressure of the invisible began to yield to my architectural interest. The building was so fine that I felt a desire to explore it for its own sake. I looked about the court, wondering in which corner the guardian lodged. Then I pushed open the barrier and went in. As I did so, a little dog barred my way. He was such a remarkably beautiful little dog that for a moment he made me forget the splendid place he was defending. I was not sure of his breed at the time, but have since learned that it was Chinese, and that he was of a rare variety called the "Sleev

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4
A good introduction to Edith Wharton's work. This collection contains Mrs Mainstey's View, which is surely one of Wharton's best short stories and as good as any of Elizabeth Bowen's stories. It's a simply written but deeply moving story, with an ending that is inevitable yet none the less shocking for it. There is great empathy here in the characterisation. Wonderful stuff. Worth checking out just for that one alone. But this collection also has her better known stories The Bolted Door, Kerfol, and Dilettante. If you like these you should check out Ethan Frome, too.
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