Edith Wharton

Edith Wharton : Matters of Mind and Spirit

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Description

Edith Wharton: Matters of Mind and Spirit, first published in 1995, makes the case for Wharton as a novelist of morals rather than of manners; a novelist who sought answers to profound spiritual and metaphysical questions. Focusing on Wharton's treatment of Anglicanism, Calvinism, Transcendentalism, and Catholicism, Carol Singley analyzes the short stories and seven novels in the light of religious and philosophical developments in Wharton's life and fiction. Singley situates Wharton in the context of turn-of-the-century science, historicism, and aestheticism, reading her religious and philosophical outlook as an evolving response to the cultural crisis of belief. She invokes the dynamics of class and gender as central to Wharton's quest, describing how the author accepted and yet transformed both the classical and Christian traditions that she inherited. By locating Wharton in the library rather than the drawing room, Matters of Mind and Spirit gives this writer her literary and intellectual due, and offers fresh ways of interpreting her life and fiction.show more

Product details

  • Electronic book text
  • CAMBRIDGE UNIVERSITY PRESS
  • Cambridge University Press (Virtual Publishing)
  • Cambridge, United Kingdom
  • 1139238590
  • 9781139238595

Table of contents

Introduction; 1. Priestess; 2. Spiritual homelessness; 3. Calvinist 'moral tortures'; 4. Fragile freedoms; 5. Platonic idealism; 6. Catholicism: fulfillment or concession; Works cited; Notes.show more

Review quote

'... Whartonians and Americanists will welcome this book.' American Literature 'The strength of Singley's vision lies in its final refusal to categorize Wharton's thought ... Matters of Mind and Spirit marks a new trend in Wharton criticism.' Modern Fiction Studiesshow more

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