Friday, December 8, 2017

Edith Wharton by Hermione Lee

Edith Wharton by Hermione Lee
Published by: Vintage
Publication Date: April 10th, 2007
Format: Paperback, 912 Pages
To Buy

"Born in 1862, Wharton is just a little bit older (but functionally of the same generation) as two of my main characters in The English Wife: Bayard Van Duyvil and his younger sister, Janie. Both grow up in Wharton’s world, the world of old brownstones gradually ceding way to new opulence, and the cultural clashes that come with that shift. Like the young Wharton, Janie Van Duyvil is too bookish for her mother’s taste. I found Lee’s evocation of Wharton’s childhood world—the locations, the customs, the assumptions—incredibly useful in understanding both Janie and Bay." - Lauren Willig

The official patter:
"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."


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