What A Library Means to A Woman

June 25, 2020 @ 4:00 pm – 5:00 pm

This online program will be streamed live via Zoom.

In What A Library Means to A Woman: Edith Wharton and the Will to Collect Books, Sheila Liming explores the connection between libraries and self-making in late nineteenth- and early twentieth-century American culture, from the 1860s to the 1930s, focusing on Edith Wharton and her remarkable collection of books. Liming argues for a multifaceted understanding of authorship by linking Wharton’s literary persona to her library, which was, as she saw it, the site of her self-making.

“This imaginative, deeply learned study illuminates the role of libraries and books for Edith Wharton, but it also…tells us about how women writers and readers created networks of intellectual labor and ambition. Lyrically written and brilliantly argued, Sheila Liming’s study is also an indispensable meditation on the act of collecting and the unseen worlds ordinary and extraordinary readers and writers created through it.” — Stephanie Foote, author of The Parvenu’s Plot: Gender, Culture, and Class in the Age of Realism

She will be joined in conversation by fellow Wharton scholar Irene Goldman-Price.

You can purchase books online here for this event.


 Sheila Liming is assistant professor of English at the University of North Dakota. She has contributed to The Atlantic, the Los Angeles Review of BooksMcSweeney’s, and the Chronicle Review.



Irene Goldman-Price has taught English and Women’s Studies at Boston University, Penn State University, Hazleton, and Ball State University, where she also chaired the Women and Gender Studies Department.  A life-long interest in the works of Edith Wharton has led her to publish several articles about the writer, to be a member of the Edith Wharton Society, to sit on the editorial board of the Edith Wharton Review, and to become a trustee of The Mount.  She is the editor of My Dear Governess: The Letters of Edith Wharton to Anna Bahlmann, and most recently of Selected Poems of Edith Wharton.

The Mount is a Massachusetts Cultural Council UP designated organization welcoming participants of all disabilities. Please contact The Mount at 413-551-5100 or by email, info@edithwharton.org, to discuss accommodations needed to participate fully in this event.