“But I have sometimes thought that a woman’s nature is like a great house full of rooms: there is the hall, through which everyone passes in going in and out; the drawing-room, where one receives formal visits; the sitting-room, where the members of the family come and go as they list; but beyond that, far beyond, are other rooms, the handles of whose doors perhaps are never turned; no one knows the way to them, no one knows whither they lead; and in the innermost room, the holy of holies, the soul sits alone and waits for a footstep that never comes.” –Edith Wharton, The Fulness of Life
Edith Wharton (1862-1937) was born and raised in the repressed, strict high society of New York in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, which serves as a central figure of much of her writing. Privately educated at home and in Europe, Wharton began writing at a very early age and even had a collection of her poetry, Verses, privately published when she was just sixteen.
Her first novel The House of Mirth (1894) was widely well-received. Edith Wharton became the first female recipient of the Pulitzer Prize, for her novel The Age of Innocence (1920). Wharton was also the first woman to receive an honorary Doctorate of Letters from Yale University and a full membership in the American Academy of Arts and Letters. In total, Wharton wrote over forty books in forty years. In addition to fiction, she also wrote books on architecture, gardens, interior design, and travel.
“Genius is of small use to a woman who does not know how to do her hair.” –Edith Wharton, The Touchstone
Wharton is probably best known for her stark portrayal of New York’s high society, and being a member of the upper crust herself, who would have been better positioned to do so? Like her characters, she knew all the customs and taboos from fork placement to the acceptable progression of a courtship; and she knew exactly how restrictive those rules could be, and precisely the form of punishment lay in store for those unable, or unwilling, to follow them.
In this original audiobook compilation of Edith Wharton’s gothic short stories from Skyboat Media and Blackstone Publishing, THE WHARTON GOTHICS: STORIES OF THE UNNATURAL AND THE SUPERNATURAL is the perfect blend of Wharton’s biting social commentary and her uncanny ability to strike at what keeps us up at night.
Wharton’s critical irony and dry wit shine through even in the most haunted tales, where characters lean into the unnatural, the scandalous, and the supernatural. But when they peek behind the veil of “decent” society, and the ghosts of the gilded age manifest themselves, the characters may wish they had just left well enough alone.
THE WHARTON GOTHICS: STORIES OF THE UNNATURAL AND THE SUPERNATURAL by Edith Wharton
Read by Gabrielle de Cuir
An original compilation of eight of Edith Wharton’s gothic stories.
A ghostly presence in “The Lady’s Maid’s Bell” desires revenge against a tyrannical husband. In “Mr. Jones,” Lady Jane Lynke inherits an estate unexpectedly, and can’t make sense of how to manage the servants – especially since the caretaker has been dead for decades, but keeps giving orders. Meanwhile, in “Afterward,” a newly wealthy American couple moves into a large, isolated house in southern England complete with a ghost…and the mysteries surrounding the husband’s business are slowly uncovered. In “The Hermit and the Wild Woman,” the “hermit,” while a young boy, witnessed the killing of his family during an attack on his town. As a result of this trauma, he has retreated into isolation – until he meets a “wild woman” who comes to live nearby. These are just a few of the wonderful and unnerving tales gathered together in this new compilation of Wharton’s gothic stories.
THE WHARTON GOTHICS Table of Contents:
The Fulness of Life
The Lady’s Maid’s Bell
The Hermit and the Wild Woman
Blackstone and Skyboat will be bringing more of Edith Wharton’s works to audio in 2021. Stay tuned! In the meantime, be sure to check out another gorgeous original audiobook collection, LOIS THE WITCH, AND OTHER GOTHIC TALES, featuring some of Elizabeth Gaskell’s finest (and spookiest) short stories and novellas (more details here)!