Cover

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pp. 1-1

Title Page, Copyright Page

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pp. 2-7

Contents

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pp. vii-viii

List of Illustrations

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pp. ix-x

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Preface

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pp. xi-xiv

I became interested in Edith Wharton’s relationship to popular film several years ago while I was researching another film project, and I came across a movie review in a 1930 issue of The New Movie Magazine, of a Hollywood production entitled The Marriage Playground. “Another study of divorce, based on Edith Wharton’s ‘The Children.’ ...

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Introduction: A Glittering Place

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pp. 1-16

In 1928, Edith Wharton (1862–1937) was invited to participate in a short documentary celebrating the accomplishments of several illustrious American women called Woman Marches On, to be produced by the Will Hayes Motion Picture Association. Through a letter to her American publisher, she declined the invitation, ...

Part One: Reading Wharton on Film

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1. Charm Incorporated: The Short Fiction

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pp. 19-40

Edith Wharton wrote Summer in 1916, from her townhouse at 53 Rue de Varenne in wartime Paris. In a letter to her friend Gaillard Lapsley, she explained that she had set the tale in rural Massachusetts and had used details from one of their outings to Pittsfield together: ...

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2. The Mechanical Terror: The Novels

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pp. 41-74

Two years after Wharton took Charity Royall and Lucius Harney to see a movie in Summer, she published The Age of Innocence, a novel that afforded her the luxury of escaping the twentieth century almost altogether.1 Only in the final chapter does fifty-seven-year-old Newland Archer confront the instability of the new century. ...

Gallery

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pp. 92-97

Part Two: Watching Wharton on Film

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3. Going Hollywood: The Thirties

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pp. 77-108

The dominance of popular American movies must have disappointed Wharton, who saw herself as one of the victims of the mechanical terror in the 1920s and 1930s. She had not always resented and feared the power of film, however. In 1918, she had commissioned a series of documentaries through the French armed forces on behalf of her many war charities. ...

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4. Wharton in Bloom: The Nineties

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pp. 109-142

The same year that Wharton vetoed the invitation to appear on-screen with Mary Pickford, Virginia Woolf delivered two papers in London that she would later publish as A Room of One’s Own. In these essays, Woolf suggested that the novel, one of the youngest art forms, would become the site of experimentation by women. ...

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Conclusion: Another Country

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pp. 143-174

Edith Wharton’s despair over the popularity of mass-movie culture during her lifetime was a despair shared by a cluster of other writers, including H. L. Mencken, William Dean Howells, Maxim Gorky, Aldous Huxley, and many others. In terms that sound strikingly like Wharton’s, Mencken described “movie folk” ...

Filmography

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pp. 175-180

Notes

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pp. 181-200

Works Cited

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pp. 201-212

Index

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pp. 213-220

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Author Bio

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pp. 244-244

Parley Ann Boswell is a professor of English at Eastern Illinois University, where she teaches courses in American literature and film studies. She is the coauthor of Reel Rituals: Ritual Occasions from Baptisms and Funerals in Hollywood Films, 1945–1995, ...

Back Cover

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pp. 245-245