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The Descent of Man and Other Stories Hardcover – September 14, 2009

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 324 pages
  • Publisher: Josephs Press (September 14, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1444652214
  • ISBN-13: 978-1444652215
  • Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 5.5 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #5,732,021 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

--This text refers to the Paperback edition.

From the Back Cover

The sly wit and penetrating wisdom of Edith Wharton--one of the most celebrated novelists in the English language--is ever on tap in this essential collection of her short fiction. The social chronicler of the Gilded Age, she exposed the excesses and hypocrisies of refined society in fiction replete with passion, sexual politics, and the rumblings of incipient feminism... as well as astonishingly dramatic storytelling.

Here in one volume is a treasure trove of Wharton's short fiction. The Descent of Man, and Other Stories, first published as a collection in 1904, features short stories that appeared in fashionable publications including Scribner's, Cosmopolitan, and Collier's Weekly. Also in this volume is the novella "Madame De Treymes," first published in 1907, the tale of an American woman in the unpleasant thrall of a French aristocrat. --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Dave_42 on October 31, 2009
Format: Paperback
"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 the Macmillan edition.

"The Descent of Man" - Published originally in "Scribner's Magazine" in March of 1904. Professor Linyard is a man of science who writes a book where he pretends to take the side of religion, expecting it to be understood as a satire of popular scientific books. When it is taken as serious, he goes along with it in order to provide better for his family, thus selling his principles time and time again.

"The Other Two" - Published originally in "Collier's Weekly" on February 13th of 1904. Mr. Waythorn has married Alice Haskett, who was married twice before and has a child, Lily, by her first marriage. When his business brings her second husband into their lives, and her first husband continues to be part of his daughter Lily's life, he initially becomes upset at the situation. However, he eventually realizes the position she is in and comes to accept the situation.

"Expiation" - Published originally in "Hearst's International-Cosmopolitan" in December of 1903. Mrs. Fetherel is a new author who manages to get her book published. She is also the niece of the Bishop of Ossining, whose own literary efforts have not sold well, thus preventing him from paying for needed fixing of the chantry window.
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By Bern44 on May 31, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Great read for in between books and novels. Love her historical novels. Gives a good idea of life before my time.
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By Emily on January 25, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I only had to read The Other Two for my American Literature 2 class which is what I'll be doing a review on. I believe that this was a funny story due to the awkward circumstances of a man, Waythorn, being married to a woman, Alice, who has previously been married and divorced twice. Waythorn keeps getting thrown at her past husbands since Alice's daughter, Lily, was stricken with typhoid. He ends up seeing the first husband because he wants to visit his daughter and sees the second because he is forced to do business with him. All three men seem to be very polite and good natured so it makes you question why Alice was divorced twice before marrying Waythorn. The only reason I give it a four is because the ending left me completely unsatisfied, as did it for the rest of my class. It does make you want more but the harsh reality is that there is no more after The Other Two so you're forced to contemplate you're own ending!
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