Roman Fever

by

Edith Wharton

Teachers and parents! Struggling with distance learning? Our Teacher Edition on Roman Fever can help.

Great-Aunt Harriet Character Analysis

The “wicked” great-aunt of Mrs. Ansley who, according to family lore, sent her sister out on a nighttime errand during an outbreak of Roman Fever. Harriet had hoped her sister would sicken and die, and in fact she did. By arranging her sister’s death, she eliminated competition for the affections of the man they both loved. Decades later, the story of Harriet’s scheme to get rid of her sister serves as the inspiration for Mrs. Slade’s scheme to get Mrs. Ansley “out of the way” of her engagement to Delphin by luring her to the Colosseum late at night.
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Great-Aunt Harriet Character Timeline in Roman Fever

The timeline below shows where the character Great-Aunt Harriet appears in Roman Fever. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Section 2
Competition in Female Relationships Theme Icon
Knowledge and Denial Theme Icon
...Mrs. Ansley has always had a sensitive throat. The two women begin discussing Mrs. Ansley’s Great-Aunt Harriet , who—according to family lore—once sent her younger sister on an evening errand during a... (full context)
Competition in Female Relationships Theme Icon
Knowledge and Denial Theme Icon
Mrs. Slade tells Mrs. Ansley that she was frightened by the story of Great-Aunt Harriet when she and Mrs. Ansley visited Rome as young women. Mrs. Slade suggests that she... (full context)