This article examines the ways in which parties conceived by women writers elucidate the feminine sensibility and feminine concerns with communication. Communication occurs through the preparation of a context—the making of the party from the planning stage, through the purchasing and preparation of food, to its opening in an artfully ordered drawing‐room. It occurs through attention to relationships between partygoers spatially; through attention to people over objects; through attention to the individual hostesses’ attempts to shape the meaning of events internally, intrapersonally; and through an exchange of meaning between individuals through a system of symbols constellated around death. A comparison of Clarissa Dalloway's party in Virginia Woolf's novel with Milly Theale's in Henry James's The Wings of the Dove aptly conveys the differences between male/female reflections of the party and illuminates how death figures prominently in feminine imaginings of social gatherings. Death is the metaphor to communicate psychic fears occasioned in women by parties. Finally, the article suggests how women writers have altered the tradition of the party in literature, permitting it to reflect their felt and lived experience.