The Descent of Man and Other Stories

Read by Nicholas Clifford (1930-2019)

(4.5 stars; 18 reviews)

This collection of ten stories, first published in 1904, shows Edith Wharton dissecting some of the customs, habits and vagaries of courtship and marriage, particularly as practiced in the upper reaches of New York society at the turn of the twentieth century (two stories, however, are set in Italy). Fidelity is only one problem; others may arise from the machinations and emotions of the protagonists or outsiders. Wharton handles the questions with her usual gentle (and sometimes not so gentle) irony and curiosity about human behavior. (Summary by Nicholas Clifford) (7 hr 8 min)


01 - Chapter I The Descent of Man 45:46 Read by Nicholas Clifford (1930-2019)
02 - Chapter II The Other Two 46:16 Read by Nicholas Clifford (1930-2019)
03 - Chapter III Expiation 52:53 Read by Nicholas Clifford (1930-2019)
04 - Chapter IV The Lady's Maid's Bell 47:44 Read by Nicholas Clifford (1930-2019)
05 - Chapter V The Mission of Jane 43:04 Read by Nicholas Clifford (1930-2019)
06 - Chapter VI The Reckoning 49:48 Read by Nicholas Clifford (1930-2019)
07 - Chapter VII The Letter 38:04 Read by Nicholas Clifford (1930-2019)
08 - Chapter VIII The Dilettante 22:12 Read by Nicholas Clifford (1930-2019)
09 - Chapter IX The Quicksand 40:37 Read by Nicholas Clifford (1930-2019)
10 - Chapter X A Venetian Night's Entertainment 41:55 Read by Nicholas Clifford (1930-2019)


(5 stars)

Professor Clifford you are very missed. Your calm voice has been my favorite listen for a number of years here on LibriVox. Your intelligence and love of books is not lost on those of us who could never measure up to the education and just pure love of education and the most fabulous books ever penned.

An excellent introduction.

(5 stars)

Each story can be heard in its entirety within an hour which perfectly coincides with a drive that I need to do once a weak. They are proving to be an excellent introduction to the writing of Edith Wharton and the reader is a favourite of mine.


(5 stars)

A collection of Edith Wharton read by Nicholas Clifford. What more is there to say!

Good Selection of Stories/Well Read

(5 stars)

I thought this was an excellent selection of stories; well read.

Really good short stories, all read very well. thank you.

(5 stars)

Thoroughly enjoyable

(5 stars)

Well read and thoroughly enjoyable on several levels.