21st out of 22 books — 25 voters
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The Descent of Man, and Other Stories
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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“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
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.
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 ...moreMore about Edith Wharton...