This unique collection is a rich representation of the works of one of the greatest 20th-century American writers, best known for her novels depicting the stifling conformity and ceremoniousness of the upper-class New York society into which she was born.
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. From the Trade Paperback edition.
"At once a leader and a recorder of the glamorous Gilded Age society, Edith Wharton is at the pinnacle of American literature and social history. The Mount, her summer "cottage" in the Berkshires, was essential to her success, filled with gatherings of literary figures and artists, and this book documents the story of her life there"--
A New York Review Books Original Edith Wharton wrote about New York as only a native can. Her Manhattan is a city of well-appointed drawing rooms, hansoms and broughams, all-night cotillions, and resplendent Fifth Avenue flats. Bishops’ nieces mingle with bachelor industrialists; respectable wives turn into excellent mistresses. All are governed by a code of behavior as rigid as it is precarious. What fascinates Wharton are the points of weakness in the structure of Old New York: the artists and writers at its fringes, the free-love advocates testing its limits, widows and divorcées struggling to hold their own. The New York Stories of Edith Wharton gathers twenty stories of the city, wri...
American writer Edith Wharton moved through many worlds -- from the "Old New York" of The Age of Innocence, The House of Mirth, and The Custom of the Country to the Newport of the Gilded Age to the wealthy and creative community at Lenox, Massachusetts. She knew the Italy of American and English expatriates, the salon life of Paris, and France during the Great War. Later she retreated to the French countryside, where she created wonderful houses and gardens that recaptured the ambience of an earlier age. In her writing, Wharton drew continually on her visual and descriptive gifts, interweaving her love of travel, art, architecture, interior design, and gardening with her sensitive, often iro...
SINCE her reinstatement in Miss Hatchard's favour Charity had not dared to curtail by a moment her hours of attendance at the library. She even made a point of arriving before the time, and showed a laudable indignation when the youngest Targatt girl, who had been engaged to help in the cleaning and rearranging of the books, came trailing in late and neglected her task to peer through the window at the Sollas boy.
Faced with an array of wealthy suitors, New York socialite Lily Bart falls in love with lawyer Lawrence Selden, whose lack of money spoils their chances for happiness together. Dubious business deals and accusations of liaisons with a married man diminish Lily's social status, and as she makes one bad choice after another, she learns how venal and brutally unforgiving the upper crust of New York can be.--From publisher's description.