Literature

The House of Edith Wharton

The modern publishing world is more often than not captive to its market-place, thus the prospective reader of a new biography of Edith Wharton is treated to giddy recommendations on its back cover. “A rich new life of a great novelist”, “first biography of Edith Wharton by a British woman writer”, “challenges the accepted view”. All very irritating. The first suggests that former biographers had scant insight into her intricately layered life, the second that the respected biographer Hermione Lee needs to be identified as a woman rather than simply a British writer, and the third that there is some…

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