This amply annotated edition of Wharton’s 1911 classic novella includes textual notes and documents, including Wharton’s preface, letters, reviews, and early short story, “Mrs. Manstey’s View.” It is accompanied by the editor’s comprehensive introduction and a wide array of readings on topics central to the novella: tragedy, health and fitness, sex and marriage, and turn-of-the-century New England poverty and isolation. Of her twenty-five novels and novellas, Ethan Frome is the one of which Edith Wharton was most proud. Historically viewed as a high society writer or novelist of manners, Wharton is now receiving her due as an astute chronicler and critic of American life who brought literary realism to new levels and helped to usher in a period of modernist innovation.
This Broadview Edition demonstrates that Ethan Frome, a nightmarish saga of thwarted romance, is not an anomaly in Wharton’s career, but a natural outgrowth of her interest in the interplay of individual and society.
“The Broadview Ethan Frome is that rare edition of a classic that will satisfy everyone. Carol Singley’s comprehensive and beautifully-crafted introduction invites readers to consider deeply the themes and contexts of the novel. The collection of reviews, criticism, and contemporary commentary on health, marriage, masculinity, suicide, and other relevant issues will intrigue readers for its own sake and will enrich their understanding of the ‘envelope of circumstance’ in which Ethan Frome was written and has been read. This is a worthy addition to the Wharton canon.” — Irene Goldman-Price, editor of My Dear Governess: The Letters of Edith Wharton to Anna Bahlmann
“Carol Singley’s fine edition of Ethan Frome provides a detailed introduction to the novel’s main themes and contexts, helpful explanatory notes throughout the text, and a useful bibliography for further reading. The range of secondary materials is excellent and highlights various aesthetic concerns, including the novel’s reception and its relationship to modernist literary technique, as well as its engagement with classic and modern definitions of tragedy. The novel’s cultural contexts are illuminated by materials focusing on health and fitness; sexuality, marriage, and divorce; suicide; and technological progress and economic issues in New England and the broader U.S. The edition also contains a judicious selection of correspondence revealing Wharton’s thoughts on issues such as marriage and relationships, illness, and the novel’s publicity. The edition is a wonderful resource for students, teachers, and researchers.” — Gary Totten, North Dakota State University