In the 1920s Elinor Wylie's poetry and novels were critically acclaimed and enjoyed popularity in both the United States and England. Her poems were published in the New Yorker, the Century, the New Republic, and the Saturday Review of Literature, and she was described by contemporaries as an icon of the age. Much of the charm of Wylie's work is in her humor as well as in her understanding and mastery of so many poetic forms. Her magazine stories and articles from Vanity Fair, the New Yorker, and other leading periodicals of the twenties demonstrate her virtuosity and are illustrative of the era. Selected Works of Elinor Wylie contains 113 of the 161 poems Wylie chose for the volumes published in her lifetime and 100 more that appeared in Collected Poems and in Last Poems. Also included are the first chapters of each of her novels, Jennifer Lorn, The Venetian Glass Nephew, The Orphan Angel, and Mr. Hodge and Mr. Hazard. Editor and scholar Evelyn Hively chose short stories, essays, reviews, and articles to further define Wylie's rich and broad repertoire and her place on the 1920s literary scene.
Scholars and researchers of this modern woman writer and her contemporaries will find this a welcome addition to women's literary studies.
Evelyn Helmick Hively has been professor of English, director of American Studies, academic dean, and vice president of the American Association of State Colleges and Universities. She is the author of A Private Madness: The Genius of Elinor Wylie (Kent State University Press, 2003).