Character studies are top 1927 bestseller list novels

Readers will still find entertainment in the 1927 bestsellers, but not much besides entertainment. There’s not one of the novels whose plot I can recall beyond a sentence summary, even though I enjoyed all of them but one of them when I read them. Despite their less than memorable plots, three of the bestsellers are […]

Twilight Sleep will jolt you awake

Until chapter 32, Twilight Sleep is an amusing, satirical tale of an well-heeled family in New York City in the roaring twenties. Pauline Munford fills her life with activities to improve herself and her world — a world from which she keeps herself well insulated. Twilight Sleep by Edith Wharton D. Appleton, 1927. 373 pp. […]

3 clear winners on 1905 bestseller list

The House of Mirth by Edith Wharton, The Garden of Allah by Robert Hichens, and The Marriage of William Ashe by Mrs. Humphrey Ward are clearly at the top of the list of 1905 novels with that still have something important to say and say it well. Despite each being 110 years old and each […]

Life inThe House of Mirth is no laughing matter

The House of Mirth is a Jane Austen plot set in 1900’s New York City in which everything goes wrong. Like Miss Eliza Bennett, Lily Bart must marry money soon. The House of Mirth by Edith Wharton Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1905, 1951. 329 pp. My grade: A. Beautiful and witty, Lily is already 29, living […]

Happy 150th birthday to Edith Wharton

January 24 will be the 150th birthday of New York City author Edith Wharton. Pat Ryan has written a retrospective for the New York Times mingling historical perspective on Wharton’s work with insights into the  American fascination with British aristocracy as evidenced in the popularity of the  mini-series “Downton Abbey” currently in its second season […]

Age of Innocence honestly pictures hypocritical era

As Edith Wharton’s title sugests, The Age of Innocence is a picture of an era. The story opens in the 1870s. Newland Archer, from whose perspective the story is seen, is a New York nob with a law practice as a hobby; he doesn’t need the money. Engaged to much younger May Welland, Newland urges […]