Edith Wharton was a prude? We don’t suppose you’ve read her porn, then.
Hi there, Jonathan Franzen. We hope you are having a lovely Tuesday. So you say Edith Wharton was a prude, confined largely to a sexless marriage, hemmed in by plainness and haunted to write about the very beauty and passion that was lacking in her own life?
But have you read her porn?
Here’s a passage from an unfinished work, Beatrice Palmato:
“And now, darling,” Mr. Palmato said, drawing her to the deep divan, “let me show you what only you and I have the right to show each other.” He caught her wrists as he spoke, and looking straight into her eyes, repeated in a penetrating whisper, “Only you and I.” But his touch had never been tenderer. Already she felt every fiber vibrating under it, as of old, only now with the more passionate eagerness bred of privation and of the dull misery of her marriage. She let herself sink backward among the pillows, and already Mr. Palmato was on his knees at her side, his face close to hers. Again her burning lips were parted by his tongue, and she felt it insinuate itself between her teeth and plunge into the depths of her mouth in a long, searching caress, while at the same moment his hands softly parted the thin folds of her wrapper.
One by one they gained her bosom, and she felt her two breasts pointing up to them, the nipples hard as coral, but sensitive as lips to his approaching touch. And now his warm palms were holding each breast as if in a cup, clasping it, modeling it, softly kneading it, as he whispered to her, “Like the bread of the angels.”
PS. Sorry we didn’t mention this before, but there’s a good chance this is a scene between Beatrice and her dad. Happy V-day everyone!