First Edition, First Issue of Edith Wharton's Ethan Frome; finely bound
Item Number: 90452
New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1911.
First edition, first issue with “wearily” in perfect type on penultimate line of page 135 and with four pages of publisher’s advertisements at rear, of Wharton’s greatest tragic story, a “grim tale of a bud of romance ice-bound and turned into a frozen horror in the frigid setting of a New England winter landscape” (The New York Times). Octavo, bound in three quarters morocco over marbled boards with gilt titles and tooling to the spine in six compartments within raised gilt bands, top edge gilt, marbled endpapers. In near fine condition. Rare and desirable.
“There are only three or four American novelists who can be thought of as major,” noted Gore Vidal, “and Edith Wharton is one.” Her Ethan Frome “shows a marked departure from the ironic contemplation of aristocratic mores… the central problem is that of the barriers imposed by local conventions upon an individual whose happiness depends on rising above them” (Hart 813).