Edith Wharton : sex, satire and the older woman

Horner, Avril and Beer, Janet (2012) Edith Wharton : sex, satire and the older woman. In: Oxford Literary Festival; 24 Mar - 01 Apr 2012, Oxford, U.K..


In 2012 we mark 150 years since the birth of the American author, Edith Wharton. She is best known for novels charting the lives of young women in New York society at the start of the 20th century such as The Age of Innocence. Professor Janet Beer, Vice-Chancellor of Oxford Brookes University, and Avril Horner, emeritus professor at Kingston University, examine the later stages of her career in Edith Wharton: Sex, Satire and the Older Woman. In the later stages of her career, Wharton turned her attention to the fate of older women in cultures that place a premium on youth. In these later works, she explores, with wit and passion, not only the fate of the older woman but some challenging and controversial themes, drawing, in the process, on literary traditions of gothic, European drama and high romanticism. The event is chaired by Dr Alex Goody, a reader in 20th-century literature and research director in Oxford Brookes University’s Department of English and Modern Languages.

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