The Touchstone, Paperback Book

The Touchstone Paperback

Part of the Hesperus Classics series

4 out of 5 (2 ratings)


Stephen Glennard, an impoverished lawyer in the glamorous and money-driven society of New York, has one valuable possession: the letters written to him by the eminent and now deceased author Margaret Aubyn.

He has seldom read the letters - he took their writer for granted herself - but they assume an importance for Glennard when it becomes clear that their financial worth will ensure his future stability and pay for his marriage to the beautiful Alexa Trent.

What he fails to realise is that Aubyn's ghost, once unleashed upon the reading public, will exercise an influence over his own life that reduces all his hopes and pleasures to ashes.


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Showing 1 - 2 of 2 reviews.

Review by

One of Edith Wharton's shorter, earlier, and happier books, The Touchstone looks at the ways in which the choices we make can come back to haunt us. Glennard, the main character, must weigh his desires and logic against what he feels to be right and then live with the consequences of his actions. It is also about the relationship between a husband and wife and how it evolves throughout a marriage. There are some amazing lines that demonstrate what a depth of insight Wharton really had into our relations with each other, such as: "We live in our own souls as in an unmapped region, a few acres of which we have cleared for our habitation; while of the nature of those nearest to us we know but the boundaries that march with ours." I love Edith Wharton.

Review by

Upsetting reading about feeling guilty and bearing the cross on your shoulders and final atonement.

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