Category Archives: Online Lectures and Events

Dr Paul Ohler on ‘Edith Wharton’s Early Short Stories, Thursday 21 January 2021 (12 pm EST/ 5pm UK)

Thursday 21 January 2021 (12 pm EST/ 5pm UK) 

Edith Wharton’s Birthday Talk
Dr Paul Ohler on ‘Edith Wharton’s Early Short Stories’
Thursday 21 January 2021 (12 pm EST/ 5pm UK) 

A Joint Event with the Edith Wharton Society and the Transatlantic Literary Women 

To celebrate the week of Edith Wharton’s birthday, the Edith Wharton Society and the Transatlantic Literary Women are joining forces to hold a special talk with renowned Wharton scholar and editor, Dr Paul Ohler. Everyone’s invited!  

If you’re interested in Edith Wharton, short stories, late nineteenth/early twentieth century literature, publishing history, genre, then trust us: you will NOT want to miss Paul’s talk on Wharton’s often neglected early short stories! Please spread the word. 

In a well-known letter of 1902, Henry James admonished Edith Wharton to take up the “American subject [and] Do New York! The 1st-hand account is precious.” It was somewhat redundant advice, given that she had already published six short stories set in the city. In fact, Wharton had devoted immense energy to the genre for over a decade by the time of James’s letter, publishing her first story in 1891, when “Mrs. Manstey’s View” appeared in Scribner’s Magazine. By 1903 she had published thirty more, most of which remain little read. Focussing on “Mrs. Manstey’s View”, “The Duchess at Prayer”, and “A Cup of Cold Water”, this talk outlines Wharton’s work in the genre during the first phase of her career. Subjects will include the variety of characters and situations in Wharton’s stories, their range of geographical and historical settings, the array of modes—realist, naturalist, historical, dramatic, gothic—Wharton worked in, and the tonal variety of tales that rely on irony, parody, humor, pathos, and terror to achieve their effects. 

Paul Ohler teaches at Kwantlen Polytechnic University in Surrey, British Columbia. He is the author of Edith Wharton’s Evolutionary Conception: Darwinian Allegory in Her Major Novels (Routledge), and articles and book chapters on Wharton, including an essay in America’s Darwin: Darwinian Theory and U.S. Literary Culture (U of Georgia Press). His current projects include editing Volume 2, Short Stories I: 1891-1903 of The Complete Works of Edith Wharton, which is supported by a Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada Insight Grant. His most recent essay, “Creative Process and Literary Form in Edith Wharton’s Archive” appears in The New Edith Wharton Studies edited by Jennifer Haytock and Laura Rattray (CUP 2020). He is editor of the Edith Wharton Review and past president of the Edith Wharton Society.  

If you’d like to join us, please email: transatlantic.women@gmail.com and we’ll send you a secure Zoom link in the week of the event.