The Touchstone

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For the Andrew Norriss publication, see Andrew Norriss.

The Touchstone is a novella written by Edith Wharton. It was published in 1900 and was her first published novella.

Plot introduction[edit]

Stephen Glennard betrays a former love, selling her letters to him so that he may raise the money to marry his beautiful fiancee.

Plot summary[edit]

Stephen Glennard's career is falling apart and he desperately needs money so that he may marry his beautiful fiancee. He happens upon an advertisement in a London magazine promising the prospect of financial gain. Glennard was once pursued by Margaret Aubyn, a famous and recently deceased author, and he still has her passionate love letters to him. Glennard removes his name from the letters and sells them, making him a fortune and building a marriage based on the betrayal of another. However, his mounting shame and his guilty conscience ultimately force him to confess his betrayal to his wife. He fully expects (and even desires) that his confession will cause her to despise him. However, her wise and forgiving response opens a way for him to forgive himself and to make what limited amends he can make for his actions.

External links[edit]