The Touchstone, published in hundreds of editions and translated into virtually every modern language, has not been out of print since 1900. It is the absorbing story of Stephen Glennard, a man of limited means seeking a way to earn money so that he can afford to marry his fiancé, Alexa Trent. He chooses a morally indefensible method of quickly cashing in by publishing letters written him by an ex-lover, a celebrated author, recently deceased, in what becomes a Faustian bargain of greed, betrayal, and the inevitable consequences to be paid. It is a superb novella by Edith Wharton.
EDITH WHARTON (1862-1937), one of the greatest American authors, transformed the art of fiction. The Pulitzer Prize winning author of numerous novels and short stories, including The House of Mirth, Ethan Frome, The Descent of Man, and Bunner Sisters, she is considered to be a central figure in the development of the modern novel.