13. Vulgarians at the Gate

Edith Wharton and the Collapse of Gentility

  1. G. R. Thompson

Published Online: 14 OCT 2011

DOI: 10.1002/9781444344271.ch13

Reading the American Novel 1865-1914

Reading the American Novel 1865-1914

How to Cite

Thompson, G. R. (2011) Vulgarians at the Gate, in Reading the American Novel 1865-1914, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd, Chichester, UK. doi: 10.1002/9781444344271.ch13

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 14 OCT 2011
  2. Published Print: 16 SEP 2011

Book Series:

  1. Reading the Novel

Book Series Editors:

  1. Daniel R. Schwarz

ISBN Information

Print ISBN: 9780631234067

Online ISBN: 9781444344271



  • vulgarians at the gate, Wharton and collapse of gentility;
  • Edith Wharton, and “New Woman's Fiction”;
  • Edith Wharton's The Greater Inclination;
  • The Decoration of Houses, reflection of individual personality;
  • Edith Wharton's The House of Mirth, 1905 to 1920;
  • The Reef, rekindling an old love, never consummated;
  • infinite vulgarity, the new American in The Custom of the Country;
  • remarkable twist on the theme of the unlived life;
  • Wharton's House of Mirth, “Woman's Fiction,” domestic novel;
  • Book II, society destroys whom it will


This chapter contains sections titled:

  • A Life “Apart” - A Love “Too Late”

  • Infinite Vulgarity: The New American in The Custom of the Country

  • House of Pain: The Downward Path to Wisdom in The House of Mirth