During her lifetime, Edith Wharton was one of America’s most popular and prolific writers, publishing over forty books and winning the Pulitzer Prize for fiction. But after her death her work slipped out of favour, and it is only in the last thirty years that her reputation as a literary heavyweight and a great writer has recovered.
Bringing together twelve leading Wharton scholars from Europe and North America, this volume offers the first ever collection of essays on Wharton’s 1913 tour de force, The Custom of the Country. Described as 'her greatest book' by Hermione Lee in her acclaimed 2007 biography of the writer, and listed by Wharton herself at the end of a long and prolific career as one of her own favourite works, The Custom of the Country arguably remains the author’s most complex and controversial novel. The contributions to this collection demonstrate the continuing evolution of Wharton scholarship within modern critical approaches.