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The Valley of Decision

  • Janet Goodwyn

Abstract

Wharton’s choice of subject for her first full-length fiction — the Italian eighteenth century — enabled her to establish, for herself, a writer’s sense of the importance of place, both historical and geographical, and also a sense of her own relation to other artists, other cultures. Writing about a period of great social change at a distance from her own personal experience in The Valley of Decision, she was actually empowered to formulate a coherent idea of her own situation as an artist, and particularly as a woman artist, in turn-of-the-century America.

Keywords

Figurative Language Italian Subject Independent View American Audience Coherent Idea 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Notes and References

  1. 2.
    Edith Wharton, A Backward Glance (New York: 1934; rpt. London: Constable, 1972), p. 69.Google Scholar
  2. 3.
    Henry James, William Wetmore Story and His Friends (London: Thames & Hudson, 1903), Chapter One.Google Scholar
  3. 4.
    Edith Wharton, The Valley of Decision (New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1902), p. 148.Google Scholar
  4. 5.
    Ellen Moers, Literary Women (1963; rpt. London: Women’s Press, 1978), p. 200.Google Scholar
  5. 6.
    Gordon S. Haight, George Eliot: A Biography (Oxford, 1968; rpt. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1978), p. 345.Google Scholar
  6. 8.
    Elaine Showalter, A Literature of Their Own: British Women Novelists from Brontë to Lessing ( London: Virago, 1982 ), pp. 43–4.Google Scholar
  7. 15.
    Georg Lukács, The Historical Novel, trans. Hannah and Stanley Mitchell (London: Peregrine Books, 1969), p. 38.Google Scholar
  8. 21.
    Edith Wharton, Italian Backgrounds (New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1905), p. 128.Google Scholar
  9. 25.
    Sir Walter Scott, Waverley (London, 1814; rpt. London: Penguin Books, 1972), p. 492.Google Scholar
  10. 30.
    Edith Wharton, Italian Villas and Their Gardens (London: John Lane, Bodley Head, 1904), p. 7.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Janet Patricia Goodwyn 1990

Authors and Affiliations

  • Janet Goodwyn

There are no affiliations available

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