Tales of Men and Ghosts

Edith Wharton (1862 - 1937)

Tales of Men and Ghosts was published as a collection in 1910, though the first eight of the stories had earlier appeared in Scribner's and the last two in the Century Magazine. Despite the title, the men outnumber the ghosts, since only "The Eyes" and "Afterward" actually call on the supernatural. In only two of the stories are women the central characters, though elsewhere they play important roles. Wharton enjoys subjecting her subjects -- all of them American gentlemen and gentlewomen, in the conventional senses of the word -- to various moral tests and sometimes ironic tests. Some of the stories deal with the intellectual fashions of the day -- "The Blond Beast" basing itself, to some degree, on Nietzsche, and "The Debt" on variants of Darwinism. Though "Afterward" is set in England, and "The Letters" in France, the rest of the stories are squarely in Wharton's own New York city, rather than (say) in what she calls "the soul-deadening ugliness of the Middle West," thus avoiding the need to come to terms with what fashion-conscious New Yorkers still today call "fly-over country" for everything that lies between the west bank of the Hudson River and San Francisco Bay. (Summary by Nicholas Clifford)

Genre(s): Single Author Collections

Language: English

Section Chapter Reader Time
Play 01 01 - The Bolted Door, part i Nicholas Clifford (1930-2019)
Play 02 02 - The Bolted Door, part ii Nicholas Clifford (1930-2019)
Play 03 03 - His Father's Son Nicholas Clifford (1930-2019)
Play 04 04 - The Daunt Diana Nicholas Clifford (1930-2019)
Play 05 05 - The Debt Nicholas Clifford (1930-2019)
Play 06 06 - Full Circle Nicholas Clifford (1930-2019)
Play 07 07 - The Legend Nicholas Clifford (1930-2019)
Play 08 08 - The Eyes Nicholas Clifford (1930-2019)
Play 09 09 - The Blond Beast Nicholas Clifford (1930-2019)
Play 10 10 - Afterward Nicholas Clifford (1930-2019)
Play 11 11 - The Letters. part i 00:39:45
Play 12 12 - The Letters, part ii 00:50:01