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Edith Wharton / Hermione Lee.

By: Lee, Hermione.
Material type: materialTypeLabelBookPublisher: New York : Alfred A. Knopf, 2007Edition: 1st U.S. ed.Description: viii, 869 p., [24] p. of plates : ill., genealogical table ; 24 cm.ISBN: 0375400044; 9780375400049.Subject(s): Wharton, Edith, 1862-1937 | Authors, American -- 20th century -- Biography | Women intellectuals -- United States -- Biography | Americans -- France -- History -- 20th century | World War, 1914-1918 -- War work -- France | France -- Intellectual life -- 20th centuryDDC classification: 813/.52 | B
Contents:
American in Paris -- Making up -- Pussy Jones -- Italian backgrounds -- Decoration of Houses -- republic of letters -- Obligations -- legend -- Friends in England -- Mme. Warthon -- L'Ame close -- demanderesse -- Getting what you want -- Fighting France -- seconde patrie -- Pavillon/Chateau -- Age of Innocence -- Jazz -- private library -- All souls' -- Edith Wharton's family tree -- Notes -- Select bibliography and abbreviations -- Acknowledgements -- Index.
Summary: Biographer Lee 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. 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: houses and gardens, relief efforts during the Great War, and 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 intimately recounted here. Lee interweaves Wharton's life with the evolution of her writing, the full scope of which shows her to be far more daring than her stereotype as lapidarian chronicler of the Gilded Age.--From publisher description.
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Item type Current location Call number Status Date due Barcode
Book University of Texas At Tyler
Stacks - 3rd Floor
PS3545 .H16 Z695 2007 (Browse shelf) Available 0000001891415

"This is a Borzoi Book"--T.p. verso.

Originally published: London : Chatto & Windus, c2007.

Includes bibliographical references (p. [765]-835) and index.

pt. 1 -- 1. An American in Paris -- 2. Making up -- 3. Pussy Jones -- 4. Italian backgrounds -- 5. The Decoration of Houses -- 6. The republic of letters -- 7. Obligations -- 8. The legend -- 9. Friends in England -- pt. 2 -- 10. Mme. Warthon -- 11. L'Ame close -- 12. La demanderesse -- 13. Getting what you want -- 14. Fighting France -- 15. Une seconde patrie -- pt. 3 -- 16. Pavillon/Chateau -- 17. The Age of Innocence -- 18. Jazz -- 19. A private library -- 20. All souls' -- Edith Wharton's family tree -- Notes -- Select bibliography and abbreviations -- Acknowledgements -- Index.

Biographer Lee 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. 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: houses and gardens, relief efforts during the Great War, and 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 intimately recounted here. Lee interweaves Wharton's life with the evolution of her writing, the full scope of which shows her to be far more daring than her stereotype as lapidarian chronicler of the Gilded Age.--From publisher description.

Reviews provided by Syndetics

Library Journal Review

Lee (English, Oxford Univ.) has already tackled several prominent women modernists in her scholarly biographies of Virginia Woolf (1997) and Willa Cather (1990). Here, she presents an exhaustively researched and incredibly detailed biography of American writer Edith Wharton (1862-1937). Drawing on previously unavailable sources, Lee succeeds in eclipsing R.W.B. Lewis's excellent eponymous Wharton biography of 1975. Her conscientious research and attunement to her subject render a three-dimensional portrait of this complex woman. Wharton defied the conventions of her time and station in life to live an unusual and productive life, authoring numerous novels and short stories and becoming the first woman to win the Pulitzer Prize for a novel (The Age of Innocence, 1921). Lee teases out the ways in which Wharton's personal life-her unhappy marriage to a sportsman husband with no intellectual interests; her short, mid-life affair with "frightful bounder" Morton Fullerton; her ambiguous relationship to society-informed her writing, adding to our understanding of both the woman and her literary output. Highly recommended for academic and public libraries.-Alison M. Lewis, Drexel Univ. Lib., Philadelphia (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

CHOICE Review

This biography of Wharton re-creates, with a multitude of minutiae, the often-stifling circumstances of her life. Lee (Oxford Univ.) opens with Wharton's recently married parents floundering in France amid the revolution of 1848, an appropriate place to begin a biography of a writer who would make such a significant contribution to modernism. The author diligently traces Wharton's childhood and adolescent path, pointing out, among many other details, Wharton's early engagement to Henry Leyden Stevens and his subsequent breaking off of the engagement because Wharton was too "intellectual." As Wharton enters her writing period, Lee painstakingly draws analogies between Wharton's personal life and the fiction she produces. For example, of the House of Mirth's main character, Lily Bart, she writes, "Lily acts out a parallel--but much less successful--version of her author's professional career." The linking of Wharton's private life with her fiction is interesting, though surmise. More fascinating is discussion of Wharton's intimate and sustaining relationships with other women. This biography provides the reader with insights into the large and small events of Wharton's life but not an aggregate picture of the writer as a vibrant individual. Summing Up: Recommended. Upper-division undergraduates and above; general readers. J. M. Wood Park University

Author notes provided by Syndetics

Hermione Lee is the first woman Goldsmiths' Professor of English Literature at Oxford University. Her books include a major biography of Virginia Woolf; studies of Elizabeth Bowen, Willa Cather and Philip Roth; and a collection of essays on life-writing, Virginia Woolf's Nose . Also a well-known critic, Lee served as the Chair of Judges for the Man Booker Prize for Fiction, 2006. She lives in Oxford and Yorkshire.

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