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Roman Fever

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A side from her Pulitzer Prize-winning talent as a novel writer, Edith Wharton also distinguished herself as a short story writer, publishing more than seventy-two stories in ten volumes during her lifetime. The best of her short fiction is collected here in Roman Fever and Other Stories. From her picture of erotic love and illegitimacy in the title story to her exploratio A side from her Pulitzer Prize-winning talent as a novel writer, Edith Wharton also distinguished herself as a short story writer, publishing more than seventy-two stories in ten volumes during her lifetime. The best of her short fiction is collected here in Roman Fever and Other Stories. From her picture of erotic love and illegitimacy in the title story to her exploration of the aftermath of divorce detailed in "Souls Belated" and "The Last Asset," Wharton shows her usual skill "in dissecting the elements of emotional subtleties, moral ambiguities, and the implications of social restrictions," as Cynthia Griffin Wolff writes in her introduction. Roman Fever and Other Stories is a surprisingly contemporary volume of stories by one of our most enduring writers.


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A side from her Pulitzer Prize-winning talent as a novel writer, Edith Wharton also distinguished herself as a short story writer, publishing more than seventy-two stories in ten volumes during her lifetime. The best of her short fiction is collected here in Roman Fever and Other Stories. From her picture of erotic love and illegitimacy in the title story to her exploratio A side from her Pulitzer Prize-winning talent as a novel writer, Edith Wharton also distinguished herself as a short story writer, publishing more than seventy-two stories in ten volumes during her lifetime. The best of her short fiction is collected here in Roman Fever and Other Stories. From her picture of erotic love and illegitimacy in the title story to her exploration of the aftermath of divorce detailed in "Souls Belated" and "The Last Asset," Wharton shows her usual skill "in dissecting the elements of emotional subtleties, moral ambiguities, and the implications of social restrictions," as Cynthia Griffin Wolff writes in her introduction. Roman Fever and Other Stories is a surprisingly contemporary volume of stories by one of our most enduring writers.

30 review for Roman Fever

  1. 5 out of 5

    Ilse

    Roman fever - malignant tertian, falciparum, or estivoautumnal fever, formerly prevalent in the Roman Campagna and in the city of Rome; caused by Plasmodium falciparum (Farlex Partner Medical Dictionary); an antiquated term for malaria, which was so named as the disease was attributed to mala aria—Italian for ‘bad air’ (Segen's Medical Dictionary) Fear is a bad counsellor, and so are envy and jealousy, poisoning the heart and mind, restlessly seeking to nurture itself on the tiniest traces. Aware Roman fever - malignant tertian, falciparum, or estivoautumnal fever, formerly prevalent in the Roman Campagna and in the city of Rome; caused by Plasmodium falciparum (Farlex Partner Medical Dictionary); an antiquated term for malaria, which was so named as the disease was attributed to mala aria—Italian for ‘bad air’ (Segen's Medical Dictionary) Fear is a bad counsellor, and so are envy and jealousy, poisoning the heart and mind, restlessly seeking to nurture itself on the tiniest traces. Awareness of the toxic effect of these emotions is however not enough to cure oneself from them, nor does experiencing those emotions protects or prepares one for impending grief, as reality still might surpass whatever we might imagine in our worst nightmares. ’So these two ladies visualized each other, each through the wrong end of her little telescope.’ Two middle-aged American widows who have known each other since their youth find themselves drawn together again by the similarity of their lot, spending a day on the lofty terrace of a restaurant in Rome, overlooking the outspread glories of the Palatine and the Forum while awaiting the return of their daughters having a romantic outing with some Italian aviators. Gliding beneath the thin veneer of a rippling afternoon of soporific conversation the reader enters the mind of both ladies who mentally picture each other in a way which gradually reveals a prolonged rivalry between them. Eventually the keeping up appearances and stifling of long buried secrets no longer holds and their togetherness degenerates in a psychological joust fired by envy and jealousy originating from their former stay in Rome at young age. Against the deceptively reassuring backdrop of the clicking of knitting needles, Rome and their own past emerge as ‘the great accumulated wreckage of passion and splendour’ and the biter is bit, the subliminal violence backfires, the verbal dagger that is thrown is riposted with chilling precision. The Roman setting – the ruins the ladies observe at their feet a reminder of their gone prime - in the story is amply symbolic, particularly the role of the Colosseum – as a reminiscence of the gladiator fights, as a former battleground between the characters - both having quite different memories on Rome and the monument - and as a reference to the story which Wharton’s friend Henry James wrote eighteen years earlier – Daisy Miller – in regard of which the title and the role the Roman fever plays in the story also will turn out to be telling, open to multiple interpretations as well as ironic. What happens to the eponymous protagonist of James and one of the ladies concerned in Wharton’s story makes an interesting contrast, which might reflect the changing views on the position of women in society (or maybe rather the critical views of James and Wharton on that position). Like in the first story I read by Wharton (Xingu), it struck me that the character who is looked down upon, the ostensibly unassuming and socially less regarded lady, almost against her will is turned into a fearsome opponent, winning the battle with a lethal punchline of three simple words which makes a fine coping stone of a multi-layered story that is delightfully peppered with foreshadowing and cruelly illustrates a handful of proverbial wisdoms (he who laughs last, laughs longest, whoever digs a pit will fall into it, and a stone will come back on him who starts it rolling).

  2. 4 out of 5

    Gaurav

    From the table at which they had been lunching two American ladies of ripe but well-cared-for middle age moved across the lofty terrace of the Roman restaurant and, leaning on its parapet, looked first at each other, and then down on the outspread glories of the Palatine and the Forum, with the same expression of vague but benevolent approval. Preconceived notions are perhaps the worst enemies of humankind but being human, we have tendency to form opinion, sometimes without any adequate evidence From the table at which they had been lunching two American ladies of ripe but well-cared-for middle age moved across the lofty terrace of the Roman restaurant and, leaning on its parapet, looked first at each other, and then down on the outspread glories of the Palatine and the Forum, with the same expression of vague but benevolent approval. Preconceived notions are perhaps the worst enemies of humankind but being human, we have tendency to form opinion, sometimes without any adequate evidence. However we may try to culture our brain to not to develop any preconceptions, but we find ourselves following the same path which is not supposed to be traversed by a fertile brain. One such prepossession planted seed of ignorance in the cervices of my brain, as I encountered the very first chance with the profound and compelling prose of Edith Wharton I surrendered myself to it, gleefully though, the blissful rendezvous wetted my cerebral facilities with ecstasy. When Edith Wharton was a little girl, her favorite game was called “making up.” “Making up” involved pacing around with an open book and (before she could read) inventing and then later half reading, half inventing stories about real people, narratives that she would chant very loud and very fast. The constant pacing and shouting were important parts of the game, which had an enraptured, trance-like, slightly erotic aspect. She developed keen intelligence, a lively sensibility, an eye for close detail, a witty and graceful prose style, strong opinions about society and about how to live, and a certain constriction traceable to the upbringing and class about which she wrote with alternating and sometimes simultaneous savagery and compassion. How difficult it is to conceal human emotions, however hard we may try to wrap them behind the veneer of emotions which are socially acceptable, to be in line with norms we develop inauthentic existence, but as soon as we face fierce attack from someone who has wrapped around her/ himself equally thick sheath of those ‘socially acceptable’ but inauthentic emotions, we are stripped off all the comfort provided by that veneer of emotions we stand ashamed and drenched in guilt of perhaps having that veneer of those emotions or probably because we do not know about what lies beneath these consolations of inauthentic existence and when face one-to-one that ‘real self’ of ours we find it unrecognizable, abominable and may be disgusting; and then guilt take over us to find out that we are in real so damnable creatures. The funny and ironical part is that we develop another defense mechanism to overcome that disgust, we launch equally or perhaps more vicious attack on ‘the other’ person, for we are unable to stand that loathsome figure of ours and we want to have comfort that ‘the other person’ is more abominable than us, that is how our morality works. Two American ladies of ripe but well-cared-for middle age but knew each other since their younger days moved across the lofty terrace of the Roman restaurant and, leaning on its parapet, looked first at each other, and then down on the outspread glories of the Palatine and the Forum, with the same expression of vague but benevolent approval, waiting for return of their daughters having their romantic evenings. This unusual meeting which is perhaps not so unusual starts with a seemingly joyous conversation but gradually both of them start digging into deep recess of their characters, this supposedly buoyant intimacy degraded due to jealousy, bitterness disguised under veneer of their former companionship. A few years later, and not many months apart, both ladies lost their husbands. There was an appropriate exchange of wreaths and condolences, and a brief renewal of intimacy in the half shadow of their mourning; and now, after another interval, they had run across each other in Rome, at the same hotel, each of them the modest appendage of a salient daughter. The similarity of their lot had again drawn them together, lending itself to mild jokes, and the mutual confession that, if in old days it must have been tiring to "keep up" with daughters, it was now, at times, a little dull not to. Rome stands differently for each generations, for it may have pleasant memories for one but bitter seeds may be sown in the memory of other, for same settings may extract different kind of emotions for different people since people perceive things differently. The voice of indifferent narrator makes you read between the lines and to relish underlying symbolism which indeed is apparent, battleground of great Roman architectures wherein gladiators used to gauge each other’s strength has been use to convey the battleground wherein the women test each other’s strength; the attacks may be verbal though but words are perhaps stronger than swords, they are profound as actions, for they don’t go without consequences, the wounds created by verbal outrage sometimes inflict more grave injury than that by weapons, for human relationships may be ripped apart into shreds of jealously, envy and animosity. The prose is outstandingly dense and symbolic as you expect from Wharton, the reader may feel astonished to acknowledge the greatness of the author as to how she had been able to create so profound effect in so few words. And one may be hallucinated, pleasantly though, as if sitting their besides the two ladies and watching in awe, how contempt and jealousy grab Mrs. Slade that she wants her daughter to fall for an inappropriate and then bring out the heroic side of her to rescue her daughter from that suffering, for the notion of self-appeasement defeats the feeling of love for her daughter, for all emotions should make one great otherwise what is the use of them even if it may be love to your offspring. And then sitting there, one may observe a new kind of intimacy developing between the two ladies, intimacy when people don’t utter a single word but one may tell there is some bond between them and apparently they don’t know to deal with it. Yes; being the Slade's widow was a dullish business after that. In living up to such a husband all her faculties had been engaged; now she had only her daughter to live up to, for the son who seemed to have inherited his father's gifts had died suddenly in boyhood. She had fought through that agony because her husband was there, to be help ed and to help ; now, after the father's death, the thought of the boy had become unbearable. There was nothing left but to mother her daughter; and dear Jenny was such a perfect daughter that she needed no excessive mothering. "Now with Babs Ansley I don't know that I should be so quiet," Mrs. Slade sometimes halfenviously reflected; but Jenny, who was younger than her brilliant friend, was that rare accident, an extremely pretty girl who somehow made youth and prettiness seem as safe as their absence. It was all perplexing—and to Mrs. Slade a little boring. She wished that Jenny would fall in love—with the wrong man, even; that she might have to be watched, out-maneuvered, rescued. And instead, it was Jenny who watched her mother, kept her out of drafts, made sure that she had taken her tonic... The author did a remarkable job, in the sense that it doesn’t happen quite often, in transforming characters, who appears to be sitting around the table, into fierce opponents who would go to any length to prove their individual superiority; and in the process we watch, awestruck apparently, how one of characters, who incidentally occurs to be somewhat docile, sympathy is taking birth for whom in your heart, turns to fearsome gladiator, may be taking cue from the great surroundings, though using different weapon but fighting with vigor no less. I’ve read a lot about the author but never really read her and when I finally read her I found that there have been a few authors who have written incisively not just about a historical period and a particular social milieu but about something more timeless—the ardor with which we flee and return to the prison of conditioning and convenience. Wharton’s graceful sentences create dramatic, populous tableaux and peel back layer after layer of artifice and pretense, of what we say and how we wish to appear, revealing the hidden kernel of what human beings are like, alone and together. I think it is an absolute must for anyone wishes to plunge into deep but humane, in every sense- good or bad, world of Edith Wharton. Mrs. Slade gave an unquiet laugh. "Yes, I was beaten there. But I oughtn't to begrudge it to you, I suppose. At the end of all these years. After all, I had everything; I had him for twenty-five years. And you had nothing but that one letter that he didn't write." Mrs. Ansley was again silent. At length she took a step toward the door of the terrace, and turned back, facing her companion. "I had Barbara," she said, and began to move ahead of Mrs. Slade toward the stairway 4.5/5

  3. 4 out of 5

    Elyse Walters

    Two middle-age ladies talking about their daughters: angels with the rainbow wings..... “Wandering by the sea with their young men; and here we sit... and it all brings back the past a little too acutely”. “While Mrs. Slade spoke Mrs. Ansley had risen unsteadily to her feet. Her bag, her knitting and gloves, slid in a panic-stricken heap to the ground. She looked at Mrs. Slade as though she was looking at a ghost”. “Mrs. Slade gave an unquiet laugh. ‘Yes, I was beaten there. But I oughtn’t to be Two middle-age ladies talking about their daughters: angels with the rainbow wings..... “Wandering by the sea with their young men; and here we sit... and it all brings back the past a little too acutely”. “While Mrs. Slade spoke Mrs. Ansley had risen unsteadily to her feet. Her bag, her knitting and gloves, slid in a panic-stricken heap to the ground. She looked at Mrs. Slade as though she was looking at a ghost”. “Mrs. Slade gave an unquiet laugh. ‘Yes, I was beaten there. But I oughtn’t to begrudge it to you, I suppose. At the end of all these years. After all, I had everything; I had him for 25 years. And you had nothing but that one letter that he didn’t write”. A relationship to contemplate! Thank you Ilse! I enjoyed your review, so for $.99, I downloaded this and read it while soaking in our garden pool this afternoon.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Cheri

    ”From the table at which they had been lunching two American ladies of ripe but well-cared-for middle age moved across the lofty terrace of the Roman restaurant and, leaning on its parapet, looked first at each other, and then down on the outspread glories of the Palatine and the Forum, with the same expression of vague but benevolent approval.” ”… for a few moments the two ladies, who had been intimate since childhood, reflected how little they knew each other.” Two women, Mrs. Slade and ”From the table at which they had been lunching two American ladies of ripe but well-cared-for middle age moved across the lofty terrace of the Roman restaurant and, leaning on its parapet, looked first at each other, and then down on the outspread glories of the Palatine and the Forum, with the same expression of vague but benevolent approval.” ”… for a few moments the two ladies, who had been intimate since childhood, reflected how little they knew each other.” Two women, Mrs. Slade and Mrs. Ansley, who met as children, and had for a time lived opposite each other during the years they were married, meet once again in Rome. Their husbands have each passed away some time ago. ”Museum specimens of old New York. Good-looking, irreproachable, exemplary.” This is a short, twenty-five page story that was well worth reading, with a very unexpected ending.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Cecily

    “These two ladies visualized each other, each through the wrong end of her little telescope.” Two middle-aged widows, who’ve been intimate since a chance encounter in Rome as children, and lived opposite each other for their early married years, meet again in Rome. They compare lives and daughters out loud and in their minds. How little they really know each other. Small irritations aggravate envy and and expose secrets. Many people rate this as one of her best stories. Perhaps, having read 19 o “These two ladies visualized each other, each through the wrong end of her little telescope.” Two middle-aged widows, who’ve been intimate since a chance encounter in Rome as children, and lived opposite each other for their early married years, meet again in Rome. They compare lives and daughters out loud and in their minds. How little they really know each other. Small irritations aggravate envy and and expose secrets. Many people rate this as one of her best stories. Perhaps, having read 19 of her New York stories on the trot, I was a little jaded. I do concede that the final sentence packs a punch. * “Contemplating it [view] in silence, with a sort of diffused serenity which might have been borrowed from the spring effulgence of the Roman skies.” * Sunset “filling her troubled eyes with the tranquilizing magic of the hour.” More Wharton Stories I read this as one of twenty stories in The New York Stories of Edith Wharton , which I reviewed here. Reading them one after the other made me notice her favoured ingredients, from which she selected a unique combination for each story, and which led me to concoct a recipe for Write Your Own Wharton Short Story, which I posted here.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Connie G

    The single short story "Roman Fever" is about two middle-aged women, both with daughters, who have known each other most of their lives. As the story goes on, their true relationship is shown. There is betrayal and rivalry in their history. Excellent story. The single short story "Roman Fever" is about two middle-aged women, both with daughters, who have known each other most of their lives. As the story goes on, their true relationship is shown. There is betrayal and rivalry in their history. Excellent story.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Marquise

    A bit sad that I was able to guess the ending way before and nonetheless kept wishing for a last-line twist until the full stop mark. It's a nicely crafted and well-written story, and I liked it a lot. A bit sad that I was able to guess the ending way before and nonetheless kept wishing for a last-line twist until the full stop mark. It's a nicely crafted and well-written story, and I liked it a lot.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Plateresca

    Basically, I have very little to add to this very clever and in-depth review by Ilse - which made me read the story in the first place :) What I liked was that though the story is very brief, there is a very gradual revealing of the characters of the two women, we sort of go deeper and deeper as the shadows of the evening deepen. Like Ilse says, all the details are symbolic, so, again, although the story is short, it's packed with meaning. A beautiful example of Edith Wharton's smart writing, I Basically, I have very little to add to this very clever and in-depth review by Ilse - which made me read the story in the first place :) What I liked was that though the story is very brief, there is a very gradual revealing of the characters of the two women, we sort of go deeper and deeper as the shadows of the evening deepen. Like Ilse says, all the details are symbolic, so, again, although the story is short, it's packed with meaning. A beautiful example of Edith Wharton's smart writing, I think.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Anne

    Well, I certainly wasn't expecting to like this one. I'll always remember this text as that particular story my friend and I had to cram reading during class because we had to write a report and present it to everyone in front (lesson learned: always read in advance and make sure you have the copy of all the texts assigned). Needless to say, I was pretty much filled with panic already since time was running out, and while I was reading I was starting to be confused and frustrated. What the hell Well, I certainly wasn't expecting to like this one. I'll always remember this text as that particular story my friend and I had to cram reading during class because we had to write a report and present it to everyone in front (lesson learned: always read in advance and make sure you have the copy of all the texts assigned). Needless to say, I was pretty much filled with panic already since time was running out, and while I was reading I was starting to be confused and frustrated. What the hell is even happening here? Nothing is happening, it's just two friends talking. I started wondering what significant insights I could possibly glean from a story seemingly teeming with the mundane. Or so I thought. As though Edith Wharton could hear my distressed mumbling, the plot suddenly became more interesting, and all of a sudden I was plunged in a roller-coaster drama of intrigue, lies, and antagonism between two "friends" who turned out to be harboring ill feelings towards each other for the past 25 years. I like how the author played with the concept of power in the story. At the beginning, Mrs. Slade and Mrs. Ansley seemed to be in equal footing, especially in the notion that they were both a part of "the collective modern idea of Mothers." However, signs soon emerged that Mrs. Slade felt envy towards her friend, and that she was treating everything as some kind of competition; comparing their daughters, and even matching the extravagance of Mrs. Ansley's bag. This imbalance in dominance became even more magnified later on when Mrs. Slade finally revealed her true sentiments - feelings that she had always made sure to hide - and the readers would perhaps think that Mrs. Slade had the upper hand. The very fact that the story was mostly narrated in her point-of-view seemed to prove this. (view spoiler)[ And there's a couple of details that attest to this: "Mrs. Slade stood looking down on the small bowed figure at her side.", "Mrs. Slade continued to look down on her." Also, when she revealed that it was actually her who wrote the letter, she was so dominatimg during that moment." (hide spoiler)] However (as I'm finally beginning to learn with all the stories I've read so far for my American literature class), there's always, always some sort of twist towards the ending. And true enough, it turned out that Mrs. Ansley actually was the one who held more power. Not only during that moment, but during all those years. (view spoiler)[When she told Mrs. Slade that she and Delphin were able to meet, a complete shift happened and all the power from Mrs. Slade dissipated and went to Mrs. Ansley. Not to mention that her last statement magnified her dominance even more. (hide spoiler)]

  10. 4 out of 5

    Sandy

    What a delightful short story with a surprise twist. I laughed out loud listening to this lovely radio dramatization at http://www.kpfahistory.info/dandl/rom... What a delightful short story with a surprise twist. I laughed out loud listening to this lovely radio dramatization at http://www.kpfahistory.info/dandl/rom...

  11. 5 out of 5

    Jianne

    "Roman Fever" is part of the four short stories that I have to read for English Literature for the first half of 10th grade. If there's something about short stories that I realize is that, there is not much character development. And there is always a certain "twist" at the end. I always thought of short stories as just a narration of some sort. Boring and all. But since I started taking English Literature I'd appreciate them more. The only problem I have with "Roman Fever" is that the build-up i "Roman Fever" is part of the four short stories that I have to read for English Literature for the first half of 10th grade. If there's something about short stories that I realize is that, there is not much character development. And there is always a certain "twist" at the end. I always thought of short stories as just a narration of some sort. Boring and all. But since I started taking English Literature I'd appreciate them more. The only problem I have with "Roman Fever" is that the build-up is too long. And it gets annoying. Writing an essay for "Roman Fever" is frustrating because there's a lot of details in the build-up and I don't know which is important especially in remembering quotes. That overall, only in "Roman Fever" have I realize the power of words. Like what Ed Kennedy in The Messenger said "I didn't know words can be so heavy" and that is present in "Roman Fever" especially on foreshadowing the final blow that Mrs. Ansley has against Mrs. Slade. This. I had Barbara. Just three words. Total knockout. All that stuff Mrs. Slade said against her is nothing compared to just three words. Three words that knock it all out.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Lola

    I started reading Roman Fever in a rush. I had to go to the movies that night with a friend, and I just wanted to get my reading down so I could be ready when she arrived to pick me up. It didn't seem like much at first, just two old catty friends trading snipes and barbs at each other, envying each others' lives and daughters. Of course, I kept reading, and possibly the biggest plot twist of the 1930s hit me in the chest like a ton of bricks. I have to tip my hat to Edith Wharton because she m I started reading Roman Fever in a rush. I had to go to the movies that night with a friend, and I just wanted to get my reading down so I could be ready when she arrived to pick me up. It didn't seem like much at first, just two old catty friends trading snipes and barbs at each other, envying each others' lives and daughters. Of course, I kept reading, and possibly the biggest plot twist of the 1930s hit me in the chest like a ton of bricks. I have to tip my hat to Edith Wharton because she manages to shock her readers and Mrs. Slade with just three words. Three words reveal more about Mrs. Ansley than anything Mrs. Slade complained about. I reread Roman Fever four times after that revelation, wanting to make sure I didn't miss anything. I would read a novel based off of these two women and their lives. Maybe Edith Wharton can work on that from heaven or wherever her spirit is now for me.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Sara

    4.5/5 Stars I read this short story for my lit class, and it was interesting. I have a feeling that if the story had continued, these women would have at the very least gotten into a cat fight, and one of them may even have killed the other over the events that transpired in this story. The reason I'm taking of .5 stars is because I think it was too drawn out at the beginning, and then too quick at the end. It took forever to get to the climax of the story, and then it was suddenly over. 4.5/5 Stars I read this short story for my lit class, and it was interesting. I have a feeling that if the story had continued, these women would have at the very least gotten into a cat fight, and one of them may even have killed the other over the events that transpired in this story. The reason I'm taking of .5 stars is because I think it was too drawn out at the beginning, and then too quick at the end. It took forever to get to the climax of the story, and then it was suddenly over.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Hajer Youssri

    Out of the whole story I only liked the last 2 lines.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Mary-Faith

    This just felt very strange. And was not very exciting until it exploded on you at the very end.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Amita

    Quite possibly the best short story ending ever!

  17. 5 out of 5

    Elizabeth

    This was one of my favorite Edith Wharton stories. It is a short, light read, but the characters are dynamic and memorable, and the plot is intriguing. There are a few twists along the way, of course, and the unreliability of the characters' testimony allows for several different interpretations. All in all, a worthwhile read that invites great discussion. This was one of my favorite Edith Wharton stories. It is a short, light read, but the characters are dynamic and memorable, and the plot is intriguing. There are a few twists along the way, of course, and the unreliability of the characters' testimony allows for several different interpretations. All in all, a worthwhile read that invites great discussion.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Whitney Noel Hague

    The ending gets me every time!

  19. 5 out of 5

    Rebecca

    Not terrible, and I do like that it was quite short. Was apart of my short story unit and as I will probably not put each book into goodreads this was one if not my favorite. It moves along at a nice speed and always the reader to fully be able to visual everything.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Zvonimir

    The ending is one of the best burns in history.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Diane

    This is a wonderful story by Edith Wharton! I just love her characters. Two women are sitting and talking about their time in Rome, now and in the past. Then a revelation occurs! Excellent!

  22. 4 out of 5

    Ainsley Dobson

    4.5 out of 5 stars Again, with the short stories slaying me, GUH. Roman Fever is just a wonderfully intricate and sometimes laugh-out-loud-funny story. Honestly, I feel as if Edith Wharton meant for the ending to be really somber and dramatic but, in my mind, Mrs. Ansley was just being a sassy piece of crap when she walks off, which I adored because let's be honest with each other, Mrs. Slade was being a real bitch. I loved how it compares to A Jury of Her Peers, because in that story we see women 4.5 out of 5 stars Again, with the short stories slaying me, GUH. Roman Fever is just a wonderfully intricate and sometimes laugh-out-loud-funny story. Honestly, I feel as if Edith Wharton meant for the ending to be really somber and dramatic but, in my mind, Mrs. Ansley was just being a sassy piece of crap when she walks off, which I adored because let's be honest with each other, Mrs. Slade was being a real bitch. I loved how it compares to A Jury of Her Peers, because in that story we see women come together to protect each other, but in this Edith Wharton shows the underside of women hood. All of the jealousy, competitiveness, and basic anger. It was just so dramatic and I really enjoyed how we got to see everything unfold; not in real time, but as a story told through an argument more than twenty years later. This is definitely a story that will stick with me for awhile.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Emily Dybdahl

    As I read more and more short stories by authors of famous long novels, I'm confirming more and more the unique form of art that is the short story. It's like a scene out of a play, and has that snapshot feel of telling a detailed story in one small moment of time. It seems like authors use a whole different technique in their short stories. I enjoyed the irony in this story. The two "frenemies" Mrs. Ansley and Mrs. Slade think they have each other pegged, but their prejudgments leave them blind As I read more and more short stories by authors of famous long novels, I'm confirming more and more the unique form of art that is the short story. It's like a scene out of a play, and has that snapshot feel of telling a detailed story in one small moment of time. It seems like authors use a whole different technique in their short stories. I enjoyed the irony in this story. The two "frenemies" Mrs. Ansley and Mrs. Slade think they have each other pegged, but their prejudgments leave them blind to what the other one actually thinks and feels. The last line is a perfect soap-opera dramatic ending.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Kaitlin Rizzo

    What is it the character in this says? Something along the lines of "I had so wanted a brilliant daughter, only to be left with an angel." Wharton is hilarious, honest, and devastatingly relatable. Did you know she was one of the women to charge onto the warfront and write about it? Talk about guts. The volley-play between her and James has me transfixed too. Daisy Miller would have been the grandmother of these older bittys in the story. Wharton is clearly winking at her friend James. What woul What is it the character in this says? Something along the lines of "I had so wanted a brilliant daughter, only to be left with an angel." Wharton is hilarious, honest, and devastatingly relatable. Did you know she was one of the women to charge onto the warfront and write about it? Talk about guts. The volley-play between her and James has me transfixed too. Daisy Miller would have been the grandmother of these older bittys in the story. Wharton is clearly winking at her friend James. What would happen if a contemporary was to, hypothetically, wink back?

  25. 4 out of 5

    Miguel Vega

    4.5/5. This was amazing! Read for class and even though I originally thought of skipping the reading (hehe) I am so glad I made myself go back and actually read it (there is a lesson to be learned here folks). The story is about two women, one whom knows the secret of her friend and vows to destroy her happiness, but in the end, it is this blind rage and jealousy that proves to be HER own undoing. Amazing!

  26. 5 out of 5

    Marcele

    Probably one of my favorites short stories. I love that it seems a story of no consequence told in a compelling way, and YET it's more. So much more. Probably one of my favorites short stories. I love that it seems a story of no consequence told in a compelling way, and YET it's more. So much more.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Aimee Mansfield

    Subtly clever and funny in an unexpected way, but that might just be my sense of humor.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Jesten

    5 stars, because the sass level, at the end, just stole my heart.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Honorata

    Brilliant!

  30. 5 out of 5

    Stephanie

    A long-term friendship, a hidden rivalry, and more than one secret. Admittedly the final reveal I had long suspected, but it still packed a punch. Interesting to note are the different attitudes of each subsequent generation going to Italy/Rome; the newness vs tiredness of the view of the Forum and Colosseum; the ideas of innocence between young girls and mature women, Old World and New World, History and history. I actually read a PDF copy supplied by my professor, not this Kindle edition.

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