Edith Wharton: Twilight Sleep

(610 words)

When Edith Wharton wrote the underrated Twilight Sleep in 1927, she had spent precisely eleven days in her own country since 1913. She might, therefore, be expected to be disqualified from the subject-matter of the novel, the post-war, Jazz Age frenzy of a middle-aged American club-woman and do-gooder. The reverse is true: long absence from America and second-hand familiarity with its society and culture made perfect material for what is, with The Custom of the Country, her most energetic satirical work. Twilight Sleep is an extended, almost Jonsonian, caricature of modern mores which could perhaps only have emerged from a sensibility remote from the reality of American life.

Pauline Manford runs her life …

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Citation:
Preston, Claire. "Twilight Sleep". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 22 January 2003
[http://www.litencyc.com/php/sworks.php?rec=true&UID=11287, accessed 22 December 2014.]