The Old Maid: [The 'Fifties]
The Old Maid, Originally serialized in The Red Book Magazine in 1922, The Old Maid is an examination of class and society as only Edith Wharton could undertake. The story follows the life of Tina, a young woman caught between the mother who adopted her-the beautiful, upstanding Delia-and her true mother, her plain, unmarried "aunt" Charlotte, who gave Tina up to provide her with a socially acceptable life.
The three women live quietly together until Tina's wedding day, when Delia's and Charlotte's hidden jealousies rush to the surface. Says Roxana Robinson in her Introduction, "Wharton weaves her golden, fine-meshed net about her characters with inexorable precision."