Cover image for Edith Wharton A to Z : the essential guide to the life and work
Edith Wharton A to Z : the essential guide to the life and work
Wright, Sarah Bird.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
New York : Facts on File, [1998]

Physical Description:
xxi, 330 pages : illustrations, map ; 29 cm
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
PS3545.H16 Z459 1998 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks-Non circulating

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A guide to the enigmatic author's life includes synopses of her writings, explores the critical reception of her works, and discusses the important people in her life.

Author Notes

Sarah Bird Wright holds a doctorate in American studies from the College of William and Mary. She has taught English at Boston University and the University of Richmond, lectured on Wharton, and written articles for popular journals. Her books include, among others, Edith Wharton's Travel Writing: The Making of a Connoisseur (St. Martin's Press, 1997); she also edited Edith Wharton Abroad: Selected Travel Writings, 1888-1920 (St. Martin's Press, 1995). She lives in Midlothian, Virginia.

Reviews 2

Booklist Review

The newest addition to this fine series covers an author who is the subject of renewed interest, thanks in part to recent film and television adaptations of some of her novels. In addition to the A^-Z entries, the book includes a list of media adaptations, a chronology of Wharton's writings, family trees, and a time line of her life. Illustrations add to the volume's appeal.

Choice Review

Wright offers another excellent encyclopedia in this publisher's "A to Z" titles on individual authors. More than 450 alphabetical, cross-referenced entries drawn from original and secondary sources cover all aspects of Wharton's life and writings. Entries vary in length from one sentence to several pages; there are 90 photographs and other illustrations; seven appendixes include a bibliography and media adaptations of Wharton's writings; and there is a detailed index. This title fills a niche between the shorter summaries found in various biographical dictionaries (e.g., The Oxford Companion to Women's Writing in the United States, ed. by Cathy Davidson et al., CH, May'95) and full-length biographies (e.g., Katherine Joslin's Edith Wharton, 1994). Wright, an authority on Wharton, has written a comprehensive reference useful for college and university libraries, especially those with collections in women's studies. T. M. Racz Eastern Michigan University



Edith Wharton has always been a popular author as well as a critically acclaimed novelist of manners. She was the first woman to win a Pulitzer Prize, her short fiction and articles brought high prices from mass-audience magazines, and her work has been the basis for numerous plays and films for over 70 years. In recent years, there has been a Wharton revival, as she has attracted the interest of critics and scholars writing from a variety of perspectives, as well as a growing public. Edith Wharton A to Z is a comprehensive, encyclopedic, easy-to-use reference, with hundreds of entries discussing every significant aspect of Wharton's life and work. Additional features include: Appendixes that index entries by topic, chronicle Wharton's publication history, and identify all the fictional characters in her work. A special feature by Scott Marshall, deputy director of The Mount (Wharton's restored home in Lenox, Mass.) provides a fascinating record of theatrical, film, and even operatic adaptations of Wharton's work, with production and release dates, names of producers, writers, directors, performers, and other details. A timeline, a chronology, a family tree, extensive bibliographies, 90 black-and-white photographs, and a complete general index complement the coverage, making information easy to access from any point. Excerpted from Edith Wharton A to Z: The Essential Guide to the Life and Work by Sarah B. Wright All rights reserved by the original copyright owners. Excerpts are provided for display purposes only and may not be reproduced, reprinted or distributed without the written permission of the publisher.

Table of Contents

List of Illustrationsp. ix
Forewordp. xiii
Acknowledgmentsp. xv
Introductionp. xvii
Abbreviationsp. xxi
A-to-Z Entriesp. 1
Appendicesp. 271
I. Topical List of Entriesp. 273
II. Media Adaptations of Edith Wharton's Worksp. 287
III. Chronology of Edith Wharton's Writingsp. 297
IV. Family Treesp. 301
V. Edith Wharton: a Timelinep. 303
VI. Bibliographyp. 309
Indexp. 319