Elinor Wylie Analysis

Other literary forms

(Poets and Poetry in America)

Elinor Wylie (WI-lee) is primarily a poet, but she turned to long fiction to vary her writing days and to add to her income. Both genres received high praise as well as scathing criticism, and both were highly autobiographical. Her heroines were very like her, right down to their taste in clothing, and some of the other characters were easily recognizable. Her last two novels dealt with the long dead Romantic poet Percy Bysshe Shelley, who could be her muse and ideal, her perfect love, because he was not there to disappoint or disillusion her.


(Poets and Poetry in America)

Elinor Wylie was honored for her poetry with the June Ellsworth Ford Prize from the Poetry Society (1921) for Nets to Catch the Wind and the Levinson Prize from Poetry magazine (1928). She served as poetry editor of Vanity Fair, 1923-1925; editor of Literary Guild, 1926-1928; and contributing editor of New Republic, 1926-1928.


(Great Authors of World Literature, Critical Edition)

Benét, William Rose. The Prose and Poetry of Elinor Wylie. 1934. Reprint. Folcroft, Pa.: Folcroft Press, 1969. Transcript of Benét’s lecture.

Farr, Judith. The Life and Art of Elinor Wylie. Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 1983. A substantial critical and biographical study.

Gray, Thomas. Elinor Wylie. New York: Twayne, 1969. Early study that provides basic information and rather unsympathetic criticism.

Hilt, Kathryn. “Elinor Wylie: A Bibliography.” Bulletin of Bibliography 42 (1985). An excellent, thorough bibliography.

Olson, Stanley. Elinor Wylie: A Life Apart. New York: Dial Press, 1979. Biography studies Wylie’s life and works.