The Correspondence of Edith Wharton and Macmillan, 1901-1930

Towheed, Shafquat ed. (2007). The Correspondence of Edith Wharton and Macmillan, 1901-1930. Basingstoke, UK: Palgrave Macmillan.



This book publishes, for the first time, some 400 letters between America's leading woman of letters, Edith Wharton, and London's most prestigious publishing house, Macmillan, written over a thirty-year period. The meticulously transcribed correspondence highlights Wharton's determination to be taken seriously as a novelist, as well as her exceptionally developed understanding of the 'sociology of text' in the first quarter of the twentieth century. Copious editorial annotation provides valuable contextual information on the socio-economics of the book trade, Wharton and Macmillan's relationships with the leading writers of the time, and Wharton's interventions in the production of her books. The book casts new light on Wharton's working practices, and will be of crucial importance for literary scholars. As the complete record of an author-publisher relationship, this book offers readers a valuable and intimate insight into the transatlantic book trade of the period.

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  • Item ORO ID
  • 8826
  • Item Type
  • Edited Book
  • ISBN
  • 0-230-00843-7, 978-0-230-00843-4
  • Extra Information
  • Reviews:

    'The Correspondence of Edith Wharton and Macmillan, 1901-1930 provides all kinds of unexpected insights into the history of English and American publishing whilst illuminating Wharton's relationship with her editors and her public. The volume offers a variety of fascinating snippets, dropped by Wharton in her letters to her British editor: her freelist (those who - sometimes surprisingly - received complimentary copies), a discovery of another incidence of Wharton sniping at Virginia Woolf through a third party (as Wharton complains about Woolf's 'pompous' review of Lubbock's edition of Henry James's Letters) and, most importantly, her proof reading habits and her painstaking attention to punctuation and English spelling.' - Professor Janet Beer, The English Research Institute, Manchester Metropolitan University, UK.

    'Shafquat Towheed’s authoritative, profoundly-researched collection of Edith Wharton’s letters to her most valued publisher is not only an important contribution to Wharton Studies and the history of the book, but a fascinating document in the cultural history of a vital period of transition. The letters themselves are a very welcome addition to the Wharton canon; almost equally welcome is Towheed’s vivid and entertaining and wonderfully informative Introduction, showing a rich and astute sense of the subtleties of the publishing business, and setting them magnificently in context. This book will be required reading for anyone with an interest in Wharton or in the history of publishing in the first three decades of the twentieth century.' - Professor Philip Horne, Department of English Language & Literature, University College London, UK.

    'Edith Wharton’s relationships with her American publishers have long been well known. Thanks to Shafquat Towheed’s meticulously assembled and introduced volume of her correspondence with the prestigious London firm of Macmillan, the publication of Wharton’s works in England can now also be amply documented for the first time. Illustrating her command of contractual matters, along with her strict attention to the design, production, and marketing of the English editions of her books, this substantial correspondence offers an expansive new glimpse of Wharton the savvy literary entrepreneur, and of the rapidly changing world of transatlantic publishing early in the twentieth century.' - Frederick Wegener, Associate Professor in the Department of English, California State University, Long Beach, USA.
  • Keywords
  • Literature and context; Book History; Publishing; Reference and Literary Letters; Anglo-American Literary Relations; Edith Wharton; Macmillan and Co.; Biography.
  • Academic Unit or School
  • Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (FASS) > Arts and Humanities > English & Creative Writing
    Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (FASS) > Arts and Humanities
    Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (FASS)
  • Research Group
  • History of Books and Reading (HOBAR)
  • Depositing User
  • Shafquat Towheed