Hard Cover. New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1899. First Edition. Near Fine.
First edition, second printing. Scarce publisher's "C" binding in white cloth, decorated and lettered in gilt, gray topstain. A very bright copy with some minor spotting to covers, and two former owner stamps to front endpaper, else a clean and near fine copy. Garrison A3.1.b. The Greater Inclination, published in 1899, was Edith Wharton's first published work of fiction. The first print run was small, consisting of 1,250 copies, and they sold out quickly. The themes in these stories would become ones that Wharton would build upon in her later work. Notably, the first story, "The Muse's Tragedy," named in reference to Henry James' novel The Tragic Muse, deals with themes of unrequited love, tragedy, and artistic expression. The story follows Mary Anerton, the muse of a famous poet, and her friend Danyers. Mary cannot be with the poet and resigns herself to living alone in the shadow of his perception of her, despite Danyers' advances. The quality and success of this collection helped propel Wharton's literary career forward.