Hotels played an important role in the life of Edith Wharton and are a recurrent trope in her writing, usually as a site of social conflict and especially reflecting changing nineteenth- and twentieth-century attitudes toward class and gender issues. Wharton does not specify what type of hotels her family frequented in Europe, but the places they stayed in were probably unlike those in America. However, the history of hotels and hotel spaces shows that they are permeable private/public areas fraught with anxieties about gender and class conflict. Recent scholarship has looked closely at the permeable division between private and public space. Research focused on the urban hotel makes clear the fluidity of women's position in that public site. There is no doubt that Wharton's attitude toward a woman's hotel liaison was influenced by her own sexual consummation with Morton Fullerton in the Charing Cross Hotel on 4 June 1909.