iPlayer Radio What's New?
Image for The Jinx Element

Sorry, this episode is not currently available on BBC iPlayer Radio

The Jinx Element

1 hour
First broadcast:
Saturday 21 January 2012

by Stephen Wakelam

Edith Wharton's private life was as dramatic as many of her novels.
An encounter with a journalist was to have a seismic
effect on her marriage and her work.

Directed by Sally Avens

Pullitzer prize winning author Edith Wharton had a long career, which stretched over forty years and included the publication of more than forty books, many of which have been made into films including 'The House of Mirth'. A born storyteller her novels are justly celebrated for their vivid settings, satiric wit, ironic style, and moral seriousness. Her characters are often trapped in bad relationships or confining circumstances. Her own life stands as an example of the obstacles that a woman of her time and place had to overcome to find self-realization. Stephen Wakelam's play tells the story of Edith's affair with the journalist Morton Fullerton through the eyes of her friend and fellow writer Henry James. Age 47 Edith embarked upon a relationship which made her reassess her own marriage to Teddy Wharton, a platonic relationship that did not allow her to share her intellectual and artistic interests.

Stephen Wakelam has written many successful radio plays including 'Adulteries of a Provinical Wife' about Flaubert writing Madame Bovary and 'What I Think of My Husband' about Thomas Hardy.


Edith Wharton
Fenella Woolgar
Henry James
Allan Corduner
Patrick Baladi
Teddy Wharton
Nathan Osgood
James Lailey
James Lailey
Mrs Gross
Rachel Atkins
French Admirer
Rachel Atkins
English Waiter
Simon Bubb
French Waiter
Simon Bubb
Sally Avens
Stephen Wakelam


BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.

Added. Check out your playlist Dismiss