From Hermione Lee, the internationally acclaimed, award-winning biographer of Virginia Woolf and Willa Cather, comes a superb reexamination of one of the most famous American women of letters.
Delving into heretofore untapped sources, Lee does away with the image of the snobbish bluestocking and gives us a new Edith Wharton-tough, startlingly modern, as brilliant and complex as her fiction. Born into a wealthy family, Wharton left America as an adult and eventually chose to create a life in France. Her renowned novels and stories have become classics of American literature, but as Lee shows, Wharton's own life, filled with success and scandal, was as intriguing as those of her heroines. Bridging two centuries and two very different sensibilities, Wharton here comes to life in the skillful hands of one of the great literary biographers of our time.
|Publisher:||Random House UK|
|Product dimensions:||6.25(w) x 9.50(h) x 1.75(d)|
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
I now know more about Mrs. Wharton than I do about myself. Author Lee is a very fine writer. I would give this book five stars for the precise and sensitive prose, but only one for the under-zealous editing. There is just too much information offered here---too many quotes from Mrs. Wharton's works and too many quotes from the extensive correspondence she maintained with friends. We won't be seeing many more biographies such as this, since letter writing (on notepaper, not the computer) is a lost art. Few people save e-mails forever, and much will be lost to time. In this case, it might have been a good idea to lose some of the material. It's really not necessary to describe every hangnail and cup of tea to make a character as interesting as Edith Wharton come alive.
This magnificant piece of work is more than just a biography--it is a beautifully detailed picture of the era, environment and people of Wharton's times. Wharton said that books are not just things, but "people," they are alive. Needless to say my edition is "heavily marked." No Wharton lover should be without their copy of Hermione Lee's gift to us. Thank you, thank you, thank you Ms. Lee!!!