Edith Wharton was one of America's most popular and prolific writers, becoming the first woman to win the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction in 1921. In a publishing career spanning seven decades, Wharton lived and wrote through a period of tremendous social, cultural and historical change. Bringing together a team of international scholars, this volume provides the first substantial text dedicated to the various contexts that frame Wharton's remarkable career. Each essay offers a clearly argued and lucid assessment of Wharton's work as it relates to seven key areas: life and works, critical receptions, book and publishing history, arts and aesthetics, social designs, time and place, and literary milieux. These sections provide a broad and accessible resource for students coming to Wharton for the first time while offering scholars new critical insights.