Teaching and Discussing Edith Wharton's Works

Research help for students is available on the Student Queries page.

Summaries and Discussion Questions for Wharton's Major Texts have been compiled and edited by Sharon Shaloo and are now available at the Wharton Society site.

Graduate and Undergraduate Sites for Teachers and Students

  • Paul P. Reuben's page on Wharton PAL: Perspectives in American Literature- A Research and Reference Guide includes a bibliography for The House of Mirth as well as a brief summary of her importance as an American writer.
  • Summaries and Discussion Questions for Wharton's Major Texts are now available at the Wharton Society site.
  • Project on Poverty and Social Class in The House of Mirth from Lucia Knowles's class at Assumption College; background information, links, and ideas, including links to conduct manuals.
  • The Mount: Edith Wharton and the American Renaissance.  This content-rich and well-researched  site is worth a visit.

  • Sites for Teachers
  • Elizabeth Ammons on teaching Wharton's "The Valley of Childish Things" (at the Heath Anthology site).
  • Discussion questions on Summer from Wharton-L members.
  • Grace Lee's "Biography of Edith Wharton: A Site Focused on Career and Relationships" at the Claremont Graduate School includes information for teachers and an online quiz.
  • Teaching Resources from CSPAN's summer 2001 program on Wharton.  This site includes a free streaming video version of the 2 1/2 hour program as well as selected clips from Scott Marshall, Shari Benstock, Warren Goldstein, and Stephanie Copeland.
  • Edith Wharton's Wyndcliffe contains pictures of this Wharton-related home on the Hudson.
  • An Edith Wharton Crossword Puzzle allows readers to test their knowledge of Wharton's works.
  • Edith Wharton: A Life in Pictures and Text offers a brief overview of Wharton's life and an online quiz for undergraduate students.
  • See also the pages for sites on Wharton and on American literature.
  • Sites for Students These sites are not sponsored or endorsed by The Edith Wharton Society, and we make no claims for the accuracy of their information. Teachers should also be aware of the summaries and analyses at sites like gradesaver.com and Sparknotes.com (see below) since many students consult these sites and dishonest students may attempt to plagiarize material from them.

  • Gradesaver, a commercial site created by students, contains a biographical note as well as summaries and character lists for The House of Mirth and The Age of Innocence.
  • Sparknotes.com has summaries and quizzes for Ethan Frome, The House of Mirth, and The Age of Innocence.

    Book Clubs, Weblogs, and Discussion Groups (not affiliated with EWS or Wharton-L)
  • Edith Wharton Discussion Group at Yahoo Groups. Description from the site: "This list is a forum for discussing the works of American author Edith Wharton.  Academics and casual readers  alike are welcome.  Discussion of contemporaries and other relevant authors as well as EW's 'life and times' is  welcome.  We conduct 'group reads' of Edith Wharton's novels and short stories."
  • English teacher Leila Rosen's group weblog "Aesthetic Realism and the Works of Edith Wharton" discusses Wharton's works through the philosophy of Eli Siegel: "The world, art, and self explain each other: each is the aesthetic oneness of opposites."
  • AP and High School Courses
  • The Reader's Guide to Age of Innocence at teachervision.com provides study questions and background information.
  • The Yale-New Haven Teachers' Institute has a parallel curriculum unit on African-American and white women writers that includes Wharton's story "Roman Fever."
  • If you have teaching suggestions, syllabi, or course materials on Edith Wharton that you would like to see included on this page, please send links to the address below or use the online response form.  Thank you.