9. The Short Stories of Edith Wharton

  1. Alfred Bendixen Professor founder Executive Director2 and
  2. James Nagel Professor Rockefeller Fellow3
  1. Donna Campbell Associate Professor

Published Online: 16 MAR 2010

DOI: 10.1002/9781444319910.ch9

A Companion to the American Short Story

A Companion to the American Short Story

How to Cite

Campbell, D. (2010) The Short Stories of Edith Wharton, in A Companion to the American Short Story (eds A. Bendixen and J. Nagel), Wiley-Blackwell, Oxford, UK. doi: 10.1002/9781444319910.ch9

Editor Information

  1. 2

    Texas A&M University, USA

  2. 3

    University of Georgia, USA

Author Information

  1. Washington State University, USA

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 16 MAR 2010
  2. Published Print: 19 FEB 2010

ISBN Information

Print ISBN: 9781405115438

Online ISBN: 9781444319910



  • short stories of Edith Wharton;
  • Edith Wharton, comparing fiction writing - to another subject, money;
  • Wharton's comment - born of hard-won experience, not inherited prejudices as in her memoir A Backward Glance;
  • Stories as “The Valley of Childish Things” and “The Fullness of Life” - part of 1890s vogue for ironic fables;
  • story collections of Wharton's middle period - The Descent of Man, and Other Stories (1904), The Hermit and the Wild Woman, and Other Stories (1908);
  • “the mission of Jane,” satirizing advice-ridden popular magazines - promoting rules of cleanliness, structured time, household economy;
  • Waythorn's private flights of fancy - over his ownership of Alice, couching in the language of the stock market, “discounts” and “shares”;
  • Edith Wharton's short stories - constituting a body of work, varied and complex as her novels


This chapter contains sections titled:

  • References and Further Reading