Ethan Frome and Summer Author:Edith Wharton "Ethan Frome" is the most famous of her novels and perhaps still the work by which she is best known. In its unyielding pessimism, its bleak demonstration of tragic waste, "Ethan Frome" outstrips all its predecessors in the history of American "realism" and demands comparison with the late novels of Thomas Hardy. — In "Summer", the frankness and ... more »directness of the presentation of the passionate Charity Royall and the subtle treatment of her relationship with Lawyer Royall, her gardian, make the total effect of the tale more humane than that of "Ethan Frome" and give it a broader range of relevance: there is less intensity, perhaps, but certainly more richness in the development of the central situation.
Mrs. Wharton spent much of her live in Europe, with her home in France. She started writing in 1897, but it was not until 1905 that she made an outstanding success with "The House of Mirth." During her life she published more than forty volumes; novels, stories, verse, essays, travel books, and memoirs. While "Ethan Frome"(1911) is possibly hr best known work it is the least typical of her art. This found full expression in her 'society' novels, and particularly in "The Age of Innocence"(1920) with which she won the Pulitzer Prize.« less