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Edith Wharton and the Modern Privileges of Age$
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Melanie V. Dawson

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9780813066301

Published to Florida Scholarship Online: September 2020

DOI: 10.5744/florida/9780813066301.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM FLORIDA SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.florida.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University Press of Florida, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in FLASO for personal use.date: 24 September 2021

Rejuvenation, Unage, and the Authenticity of the Older Woman

Rejuvenation, Unage, and the Authenticity of the Older Woman

Chapter:
(p.240) 6 Rejuvenation, Unage, and the Authenticity of the Older Woman
Source:
Edith Wharton and the Modern Privileges of Age
Author(s):

Melanie V. Dawson

Publisher:
University Press of Florida
DOI:10.5744/florida/9780813066301.003.0007

Exploring two trends in the treatment of aging in Wharton’s and Atherton’s works, this chapter traces interests in medical rejuvenation, a practice called the Steinach procedure that combined hormonal and X-ray therapies. Wharton’s vision about resisting age is less sensational, but no less focused on socially privileged women’s resistance to aging as she reveals the emphasis on “unage” or remaining virtually the same across one’s lifetime, a practice traceable to New York’s high society women. At the same time, in these societies, the older woman was viewed as authentic, despite resisting age, in a way that raw youth was not.

Keywords:   medical rejuvenation, unage, steinach, Atherton, women, age, socially privileged, high society, authenticity

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