Town and Country: Works by Edith Wharton
Born into a prominent and wealthy New York family herself, Edith Wharton was an especially insightful and informed writer whose fiction often depicts the rich and aspiring rich in New York during the Gilded Age. Indeed, her better known ‘town’ novels and stories focus on these Old New York families and the societal codes and unspoken rules that shaped them. But Wharton also lived for a time in a house she designed and decorated herself called The Mount, in Lenox, Massachusetts, and the individuals who inhabited the rural and isolated communities of the area likewise fed her imagination. In this course, we will read representative works of both ‘town’ and ‘country’. All address Wharton’s recurring themes of conformity, social codes, forbidden love, and the yearnings to break free from societal constraints and expectations. It is hoped that reading these works will enhance understanding and appreciation of this brilliant and versitile writer. Works will include:
‘Bewitched’ (short story to be read for the first class. Copies will be available for pick up at Founders Hall the week of March 20.)
Age of Innocence
Class will not meet on May 29th. Class size is limited to 20.