„The Descent of Man and Other Stories” is the third collection of ten short fiction from Edith Wharton, first published in 1904. It includes the title piece „Descent of Man,” as well as „The Other Two,” „Expiation,” „The Lady’s Maid’s Bell,” „The Mission of Jane,” „The Reckoning,” „The Letter,” „The Dilettante,” „The Quicksand,” and „A Venetian Night’s Entertainment”. 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. 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 irony and curiosity about human behavior.