The Doorway to High Society

View "The Brave Escape of Edith Wharton"

View “The Brave Escape of Edith Wharton”

In Edith Wharton’s Gilded Age New York, the new-money people were storming the gates of High Society and the Old Guard (people of birth, background, and breeding) were making a vain attempt to keep those gates firmly closed.  Today, Society is open to all comers!  The only requirement to entry is the desire to become immersed in a particular subject (and, yes, sometimes a small fee!).

Membership in the Edith Wharton Society ($15 for students, $20 for individuals, $25 for institutions) includes a subscription to the Edith Wharton Review, published two times a year.  The Review features the latest scholarly papers on Wharton’s life and works.  The Edith Wharton Society website is full of free information including teaching resources for both college professors and high school English teachers.

If engineering and the Civil War years are more to your taste, try JESNY, the John Ericsson Society New York (membership $20 per year).  Headed up by the venerable Swede, Leif Brisfjord and his wife Inez, their website and newsletter are also full of wonderful information on the doings of this very active group.

Time to become a member of High Society!