The Touchstone


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Um, what? Nov 27, Jennifer D. Munro rated it really liked it. Fantastic plot, long chewy sentences, surprisingly happy ending, published in and stands the test of time. What do you get when you mix Jane Austen with Henry James? The talented Edith Wharton.

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Beautiful metaphors draw out a story about Glennard, a man who had once known a famous author and exchanged many letters with her prior to her untimely death, finding himself with a moral dilemma to obtain the heart of Alexa Trent. As he self propels himself into a sticky situation having not seen the forest for the trees, Edith Wharton had me considering the worth of money in exchange for love.

These sorts of stories captivate me because the obvious big moral issues murder, adultery, etc can make for intriguing and fast paced stories, but the deliberate unraveling of a person, either a bit or wholly, draws you in as you watch their small choices build to bigger consequences. Definitely 4. Nov 23, Terence rated it really liked it Shelves: fiction.

I have long been a fan of Edith Wharton, and feel she obviously was an inspiration for F. This story, her first novella, is so tightly wound and beautifully executed that it is a perfect example of pacing and intrigue. Wharton knew how to cut too, "Genius is of small use to a woman who does not know how to do her hair" and expose the constructs of love at her time. It's a quick read and just solidifies her for me as one of Ame I have long been a fan of Edith Wharton, and feel she obviously was an inspiration for F.

It's a quick read and just solidifies her for me as one of America's great writers. Conscience can play an important role in the behaviour of an individual. But, does one always act upon it? This is the dilemma with which the reader is confronted in The Touchstone, one of the earliest works of Edith Wharton. A young lawyer, in a precarious economic situation, has the means of obtainig the affluence and, consequently, of obtaining the girl Conscience can play an important role in the behaviour of an individual.


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A young lawyer, in a precarious economic situation, has the means of obtainig the affluence and, consequently, of obtaining the girl he loves. But this means is morally reprehensible, in his opinion. Wharton builds up the ensuing fight between good and bad, between the accepatable and unacceptable to such a pitch, that the reader cannot but feel himself involved into this psychological battle.

But, is there a possibility of a redemption? Can one undo what has been done? Or, at least repair the deed committed by an act of atonement? View all 3 comments. Apr 30, classic reverie rated it it was amazing Shelves: american-writer , , short-stories , wharton , philosophical-bend , first-novel-by-author. I have recently read Wharton's first novel, The Valley of Decision, and wanted to read her first novella and published work which is this one.

I have been reading first novels this year and that is why I choose these books but will evidently read all her stories God willing. I am a fan of Wharton and her usual sad endings but this was not t I have recently read Wharton's first novel, The Valley of Decision, and wanted to read her first novella and published work which is this one. I am a fan of Wharton and her usual sad endings but this was not that but a hopeful ending which makes looking at her unfinished novel The Buccaneers, which I also read, thinking she might have ended that on such a note.

The author that finished that book did leave a hopeful note at the end and I wonder how much The Touchstone, if she read it played on that.

The Touchstone Experience

Sometimes in life things come full circle. Looking forward to reading her again as I do all my favorite authors. I read Delphi collection of her works. The Touchstone is an early Edith Wharton story about a man of no principles. He was loved, but could not return that love. He held letters from a woman who loved him and, after her death, sold them, creating a rift in his own marriage. While critics write Wharton was depicting the universal roles of men and women in her time, I found the book loaded with phrases and instances that expressed subtle rage.

No one I read has said this, but I think the book was an outlet for Wharton to express her a The Touchstone is an early Edith Wharton story about a man of no principles. No one I read has said this, but I think the book was an outlet for Wharton to express her anger at "doing, being and saying the expected thing. It places the woman who loved him in the category of the unloved and marks him as less of a man.

And it was all for money. Apr 29, Mark Walsh rated it really liked it. This is the first Wharton ive read - it was collected with 3 other novellas. I love this story!

More Books by Edith Wharton

Her writing word for word is beautiful. So is the way she desribes her characters' thoughts and feelings. Sep 08, Karlan rated it it was amazing Shelves: adult. Wharton's novella captures the psychological problems of a young man who should be happy but who destroys his own chances. Owning a Nook has led me to read more books which I missed when young. This return to authors from the past may be an unforeseen consequence of the E reader.

View 1 comment. Stephen Glennard is a frustrated man. He's been in love with Alexa Trent and has courted her for two years, but he cant seem to get into a position financially to support a wife. He can barely support himself in fact.

Edith Wharton: The Touchstone

His career seems to be going no where and he has no family wealth that he can invest to better himself. But one day, while reading the newspaper he sees an advertisement.

Someone is writing a biography about his previous love, who is now deceased, and they are searching for anyone t Stephen Glennard is a frustrated man. Someone is writing a biography about his previous love, who is now deceased, and they are searching for anyone that may be able to assist in their research. Margaret Aubyn, though young, was a well known author and considered a genius by many. But she was a very private person and when she died, she left behind no family and very few intimate friends. With Glennard, she had a relationship over a several year period and wrote him hundreds of love letters, even after they parted and she moved to London.

Touchstone | Definition of Touchstone by Merriam-Webster

Glennard realizes that publishing Margaret's letters could give him the financial means to marry Alexa and get set up in life. What he doesn't anticipate is the frenzy that such a book of letters will stir up among the elite society he and Alexa are a part of with his new found wealth. The letters are published anonymously, prompting endless fascination and discussion about who the man might be that Margaret Aubyn loved and adored, but was callus enough to betray her by publishing such intimate letters.

Glennard can only observe in silence and dismay as the book becomes a sensation and a constant sort of condemnation for him, even more so when his unsuspecting wife buys a copy to read. Soon it becomes an all consuming burden of guilt. This early novely by Wharton was a quick read at just 92 pages I enjoyed it, but some how the burden of this book of letters reminded me of Poe's Tell Tale Heart in the way that it weighed on Glennard's guilty conscience.

Favorite quote: "Literature travels faster than steam now days. And the worst of it is that we cant any of us give up reading; its as insidious as a vice and as tiresome as a virtue. Jan 24, Janet rated it really liked it. I would prefer to give this 3. I desperately want to know more about Glennard's past with Margaret Aubyn. What exactly was between them? Why couldn't he appreciate her and ultimately why couldn't he love her when there was so obviously a connection you cannot manufacture?

I want to read more letters, I I would prefer to give this 3. I want to read more letters, I want to hear her words. Margaret is the pivotal character in this story and we don't know enough about her to understand why she wrote hundreds of love letters to a man she knew did not reciprocate her feelings. We need to know Margaret to understand Glennard. There is so much to tell. If only Edith had written a novel length story.

This novella is like a delicious appetizer and I'm still hungry.

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