Edith Wharton’s first novel, The Valley of Decision, was published in 1902, a month after her fortieth birthday. For the child who used to cover the brown wrapping paper from her mother’s Paris dresses with closely written stories and pace about her bedroom, upsidedown text in hand, declaiming her own fictions to the walls, this belated publication marked a definitive change of life. Wharton had been in print before 1902: a small volume of poetry, two collections of short stories, a treatise on interior design co-written with the architect, Ogden Codman, and a novella. All these preceded The Valley of Decision, but it was the novel which truly marked her entry into the world of the professional writer.
KeywordsShort Story Professional Writer American Scene Travel Writing Travel Book
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Notes and References
- 1.Edith Wharton, A Backward Glance (New York: 1934; rpt. London: Constable, 1972), p. 205.Google Scholar
- 3.Edith Wharton, A Motor-Flight Through France (New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1908), p. 1.Google Scholar
- 6.Edith Wharton, Hudson River Bracketed (New York: D. Appleton & Co., 1929), p. 392.Google Scholar