Then there is an introduction by someone other than the author, which I can read after I read the entire novel. At the back of the book there is a section dedicated to other works that were inspired by this title, such as films; a comment section about the author by other significant individuals, like other authors; and finally, a section of thought-provoking questions for the reader, just like my rhetoric questions from The Well-Educated Mind.
It's a small world! Edith Wharton was close friends with Henry James and socialized in literary circles with F. Scott Fitzgerald, of whom I am going to read next: The Great Gatsby.
|Henry James & Edith Wharton|
credit: Surviving Transition
It contributes to the connection of life events that may have influenced the writer. Sometimes the author may even be recognizable in one of the characters. And I think it also aids in empathy towards the author and his or her message. It just makes for a better experience for me, although in some cases it doesn't always work, such as for Joseph Conrad's Heart of Darkness, which also was a Barnes & Noble Classics.
It does not have to be a Barnes & Noble Classic since I can do the research on my own. It is just convenient that they have everything I need right there between the covers.
And with that, I am ready to begin reading my new novel.