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Weekend Recs: Exploring the Chilling Tales of Edith Wharton

We’ve made it to Halloween weekend! For this week’s weekend recs we’re changing it up and bringing to you all things Edith Wharton. If you’re looking to add some spooky stories into your weekend, consider picking up one of Edith Wharton’s short story collections. Learn more about Wharton, her life, and written works below. 

Edith Wharton Biography 

Wharton was an American novelist, short story writer, and designer. Wharton drew upon her insider’s knowledge of the upper-class New York “aristocracy” to realistically portray the lives and morals of the Gilded Age. In 1921, she became the first woman to win the Pulitzer Prize in Literature, for her novel The Age of Innocence. She was inducted into the National Women’s Hall of Fame in 1996. 

Horrified by ghost stories as a young girl, Wharton took that fear and channeled it into creating a series of chilling short stories filled with spirits beyond the grave and other supernatural phenomena.  As an adult, Wharton claimed she did not believe in ghosts, while somewhat paradoxically also confessing that she was afraid of them. Whether you believe in ghosts and the supernatural world or not, Wharton’s tales are enough to send a tingle running down your spine. 

Fun Fact: Edith Wharton was honored on a U.S. postage stamp issued on Sept. 5, 1980. 

Re-released Short Story Collection 

In total, Wharton has published upwards of 85 short stories that have been published in many different formats over the years. This October, her collection Ghosts will be revived by NYRB Classics, with the same preface with which it was initially published in 1937, shortly after Wharton’s death. Spanning the length of Wharton’s career—the earliest story, “The Lady’s Maid’s Bell,” is from 1902—the tales appear in their original, somewhat perplexing order. The collection contains 11 short stories in total. 

Kate Moss of The Guardian says of the collection, “A blend of Poe, Hawthorne and Henry James, [Wharton] has a lightness of touch that belies the often very grisly tale.” 

Read more about the collection in this New Yorker article. 

About the Edith Wharton Review 

If you want to learn more about Edith Wharton, consider viewing the Edith Wharton Review. The Edith Wharton Review is a peer-reviewed, MLA-indexed, scholarly journal publishing scholarship on Edith Wharton, Wharton in the context of other authors, and Wharton in relation to other writers of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. The journal is published by the Pennsylvania State University and can be accessed through Falvey’s database. 

AVAILABLE AT FALVEY – Short Stories Collections by Edith Wharton: 


""Jenna Renaud is a graduate student in the Communication Department and graduate assistant in Falvey Memorial Library.


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“Trick or Treat” (Yourself to a Great Book)!

Halloween Display 2021


By Allie Reczek

Happy spooky season, Wildcats! As the last day of October quickly approaches, Falvey has compiled a list of killer thrillers to check out in our Halloween display on the first floor of the library. Click the links below to find where these books are located.

Want more spine-tingling recommendations? Be sure to check out The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson and The Turn of the Screw by Henry James. You also can’t go wrong with anything by Stephen King or Anne Rice. Be on the lookout for the next Falvey Flip or Flick review on The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll or Mr. Hyde! Flip or Flick, this story is sure to give you goosebumps.

Happy reading and happy Halloween!


Allie Reczek headshot

 

 

Allie Reczek ’22 CLAS is a current senior at Villanova, majoring in Psychology with minors in Communications and Sociology. She works in Falvey Library as a Marketing and Communications Assistant.


 

 

 


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Spine-chilling thrillers at Falvey

I’m Daniella Snyder, a second-year graduate student at Villanova University, and your ‘Cat in Falvey Library’s Stacks. I’ll be posting about academics– from research to study habits and everything in between– and how the Falvey Library can play a large role in your success here on campus!

The weather is getting colder, the leaves are changing colors, and everyone is drinking a pumpkin spice latte.

That’s right, Wildcats…it’s spooky season.

While I love a good corn maze or apple picking adventure, my favorite fall tradition is curling up with a comfy blanket, some hot apple cider, and a pile of spine-chilling thrillers to read and watch. Nothing gets me in the Halloween spirit more.

You should plan your own fall movie marathon or binge-reading day with the help of Falvey. We have a wide variety of books and movies that you can check out and enjoy with your fellow Halloween lovers. Here are some of my personal favorites.

BOOKS: 

Christine – Stephen King

Stephen King’s tale of a possessed 1958 Plymouth Fury. Arnie buys an old Plymouth that has mystical powers to possess and destroy. She purrs like a kitten…but watch out when she roars.

Dracula – Bram Stoker

Is a description really needed? Nonetheless, the novel centers around a “young English solicitor who finds himself at the center of a series of horrifying incidents during a business visit to Count Dracula’s castle in Transylvania.”

American Psycho – Bret Easton Ellis

The novel, recounted by the main character, Patrick Bateman, tells readers of his days spent on Wall Street and evenings torturing and killing his murder victims.

The Exorcist – William Peter Blatty

This novel remains one of the most “controversial ever written” and went on to become a literary phenomenon: It spent fifty-seven weeks on the New York Times bestseller list, seventeen consecutively at number one (Amazon). Inspired by a true story of a child’s demonic possession in the 1940s, William Peter Blatty created an iconic novel that focuses on Regan, the eleven-year-old daughter of a movie actress residing in Washington, D.C. A small group of overwhelmed yet determined individuals must rescue Regan from her unspeakable fate, and the drama that ensues is gripping and unfailingly terrifying.

The Haunting of Hill House – Shirley Jackson

Four “seekers” look for haunting evidence at the abandoned old mansion called Hill House. Their stay begins as a spooky encounter, but the house is gathering its powers and will choose one of them to make its own. After you read the book, watch the Netflix series.

Coraline – Neil Gaiman

Looking for excitement, Coraline ventures through a mysterious door into a world that is similar, yet disturbingly different from her own, where she must challenge a gruesome entity in order to save herself, her parents, and the souls of three others.

 

 

 

FILMS:

The Birds

Melanie Daniels meets Mitch Brenner in a San Francisco pet store and decides to follow him home. She brings with her the gift of two love birds and they strike up a romance. One day birds start attacking children at Mitch’s sisters party. A huge assault starts on the town by attacking birds.

The Silence of the Lambs

A psychopath is murdering young women across the Midwest. Believing that it takes one to know one, the FBI sends Agent Clarice Starling to interview a demented prisoner, Dr. Hannibal Lecter. Lecter is willing to provide clues to the killer’s actions if Clarice will feed his morbid curiosity by telling him about her own complicated life.

Get Out

A young black man meets his white girlfriend’s parents at their estate, only to find out that the situation is much more sinister than it appears.

Cujo 

Vic and Donna Trenton struggle to repair their crumbling marriage. Their young son, Tad, befriends a hulking, lovable, 200-pound St. Bernard named Cujo. With Vic away on business, Donna and Tad take their rundown car to be fixed at the remote farm of their mechanic. As their Pinto dies, Cujo appears. But the once docile dog has undergone a hideous transformation, and becomes a slavering, demonic, implacable killer possessed by almost supernatural strength, not to mention cunning.


Daniella Snyder dressed as “Robin” from Season 3 of Stranger Things for Halloween this year. She also wants to thank Kallie Stahl, Communication and Marketing Specialist, for her valuable contributions to this blog post!


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Last Modified: October 30, 2019