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Edith Wharton based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Beginning with Wharton's genealogical background and ending with her funeral R.W.B. Lewis's Edith Wharton: a Biography is at once both extensive and entertaining. Wharton begins her life as Edith "Pussy" Jones, the daughter of a socially well-to-do family. Her life is surrounded by all the things the culture of 1870s cherished - multiple family estates, social gatherings with citizens of good standing and trips abroad to places like Italy and France. With access to letters, diaries and manuscripts Lewis is able to give animated details to Wharton's upbringing and subsequent literary career. It is no wonder he won a Pulitzer for his work. It also is easy to see how Wharton was drawn to a writing career when you consider the wealth of influences in that era: Henry James, Theodore Roosevelt, William Vaughn Moody, Charles Dickens, Gustave Flaubert, and George Eliot to name a few. What is amazing is her inability to stay the course of confidence. The slightest criticism could send her career out of commission for months at a time.