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The Descent of Man, and Other Stories

3.68  ·  Rating Details  ·  63 Ratings  ·  7 Reviews
Edith Wharton (1862-1937), born Edith Newbold Jones, was an American novelist, short story writer, and designer. She combined her insider's view of America's privileged classes with a brilliant, natural wit to write humourous and incisive novels and short stories. Wharton was well-acquainted with many of her era's literary and public figures, including Henry James and Theo ...more
Paperback, 216 pages
Published December 28th 2007 by Dodo Press (first published 1903)
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Peter Pan by J.M. BarrieThe Cherry Orchard by Anton ChekhovThe Marvelous Land of Oz by L. Frank BaumThe Tale of Benjamin Bunny by Beatrix PotterThe Sea Wolf by Jack London
Best of 1904
21st out of 22 books — 25 voters
Anne of Green Gables by L.M. MontgomeryThe Wonderful Wizard of Oz by L. Frank BaumThe Hound of the Baskervilles by Arthur Conan DoyleThe Call of the Wild by Jack LondonPeter Pan by J.M. Barrie
Best Books of the Decade: 1900's
235th out of 280 books — 545 voters

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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 170)
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Isabel (kittiwake)
A sense of having been decoyed by some world-old conspiracy into this bondage of body and soul filled her with despair. If marriage was the slow life-long acquittal of a debt contracted in ignorance, then marriage was a crime against human nature. She, for one, would have no share in maintaining the pretence of which she had been a victim: the pretence that a man and a woman, forced into the narrowest of personal relations, must remain there till the end, though they may have outgrown the span o ...more
Aug 30, 2015 Umi rated it liked it
Not sure how many times I can say I don't think short stories were the form for our pal Ms. Wharton but here I am yet again.

'The Mission of Jane' has some really great bits, especially the description of her collecting facts and using them to best others and her ensuing lack of luck with lads. Little else was as memorable, though some other scattered lines certainly delighted me at the time.

I'm not big on her historical stuff as it seems to go more like something she maybe enjoyed reading than
Ankit Goyal
The Descent of Man and other stories reads almost like a spiced up sociological study into marital relationships in the early 20th century against a backdrop of a rising current of liberalism , an attitude which the author personally seems to share . Be it the struggling researcher caught in a mire of reluctant compromises to support his family to the inherently different couple whose relationship is held together and ultimately brought close by the single minded purpose of ensuring the welfare ...more
Sep 04, 2009 Dave rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: literature, fiction
“The Descent of Man and Other Stories” is the third collection of short fiction from Edith Wharton and was published on April 30th of 1904. Oddly enough there are two versions of the collection which were published the same year. The Macmillan edition included 10 stories while the Scribner’s edition only had 9 stories as it did not include “The Letter”. The stories were also in a different order in the two editions. For purposes of this review, I am listing the stories in the order they were in ...more
Jenny Yates
Mar 22, 2014 Jenny Yates rated it really liked it
There are so many good stories in this collection. There are a few duds too, but most are engaging, thought-provoking and witty. It’s fascinating to see the way turn-of-the century society adapted to new trends, like divorce. There are also a couple of funny stories about the writer’s relationship with his or her audience.
Apr 23, 2015 Frank rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: short-stories
One of her more entertaining collections of stories, I think.
Kate Sherrod
Nov 10, 2013 Kate Sherrod rated it really liked it
Shelves: bedtime-stories
Some silly, romantic fripperies to leaven out some searingly intense social criticism. Full review at my blog.
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Edith Newbold Jones was born into such wealth and privilege that her family inspired the phrase "keeping up with the Joneses." The youngest of three children, Edith spent her early years touring Europe with her parents and, upon the family's return to the United States, enjoyed a privileged childhood in New York and Newport, Rhode Island. Edith's creativity and talent soon became obvious: By the a ...more
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