Edith Wharton

Edith Wharton

Book - 2007
Average Rating:
Rate this:
1
Random House, Inc.
The definitive biography of one of America’s greatest writers, from the author of the acclaimed masterpiece Virginia Woolf.

Delving into heretofore untapped sources, Hermione 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 in 1862, Wharton escaped the suffocating fate of the well-born female, traveled adventurously in Europe and eventually settled in France. After tentative beginnings, she developed a forceful literary professionalism and thrived in a luminous society that included Bernard Berenson, Aldous Huxley and most famously Henry James, who here emerges more as peer than as master. Wharton’s life was fed by nonliterary enthusiasms as well: her fabled houses and gardens, her heroic relief efforts during the Great War, the culture of the Old World, which she never tired of absorbing. Yet intimacy eluded her: unhappily married and childless, her one brush with passion came and went in midlife, an affair vividly, intimately recounted here.

With profound empathy and insight, Lee brilliantly interweaves Wharton’s life with the evolution of her writing, the full scope of which shows her far to be more daring than her stereotype as lapidarian chronicler of the Gilded Age. In its revelation of both the woman and the writer, Edith Wharton is a landmark biography.

Baker & Taylor
A critical biography of one of America's greatest writers describes Wharton's adventure-filled travels in Europe, the literary and artistic circles in which she lived and worked, her heroism during World War I, and the evolution of her writing.

Baker
& Taylor

A critical biography of one of America's greatest writers offers a complex, richly textured study of a woman who transcends the image of a snobbish intellectual to describe Wharton's adventure-filled travels in Europe, the literary and artistic circles in which she lived and worked, her heroism during World War I, her search for true intimacy, and the evolution of her writing. 75,000 first printing.

Publisher: New York : Alfred A. Knopf, 2007
Edition: 1st American ed
ISBN: 9780375400049
0375400044
Branch Call Number: Biography W555L
Characteristics: viii, 869 p. : ill. ; 24 cm

Opinion

From the critics


Community Activity

Comment

Add a Comment

v
vickiz
Dec 21, 2008

The approach of this biography is more thematic than chronological, so I wouldn't recommend this as a first introduction to the life of Edith Wharton - the RWB Lewis bio is still probably best for that. But this is still an engrossing new examination of Wharton as an artist, person and influencer. This book also has some of the best insights I've found so far into the complex relationship between Wharton, Henry James and his circle.

I would conclude that likely no one will ever have the complete picture of this complex woman and artist, in part because she destroyed some of her correspondence along the way, and her closest relationships were with two equally enigmatic individuals - Walter Berry and Morton Fullerton. As challenging as this book has been, though, I'm glad I stuck with it because I think it is the fullest, most precise and most respectful portrait of the incomparable Mrs. Wharton. It also provides concise yet incisive analyses of all of her major works.

Age

Add Age Suitability

There are no ages for this title yet.

Summary

Add a Summary

There are no summaries for this title yet.

Notices

Add Notices

There are no notices for this title yet.

Quotes

Add a Quote

There are no quotes for this title yet.

Explore Further

Browse by Call Number

Recommendations

Subject Headings

  Loading...

Find it at Northern Indiana Database Cluster

  Loading...
[]
[]
To Top