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Edition 20: Equity by Design

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Page 177 of 299

X ingu by Edith Wharton is a tale of ladies who serve up lit- erature with their lunch, digesting only the latter. The ladies of "The Lunch Club" are all aflutter, for they anticipate a visit from eminent con- temporary novelist Osric Dane, author of The Wings of Death, which they intend to discuss, some of them without benefit of reading the tome. Mrs. Roby is the pariah of the group, who admits to reading Trollope rather than contemporary authors, because he "amuses" her. But the ladies are seeking Elevation and Improvement: "The object of our little club…is to concentrate the highest tendencies of Hillbridge—to centralize and focus its complex in- tellectual effort." One wonders, from the titles of Osric's oeuvre, if Wharton is gently An introductory note... HYLAND

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