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Edith Wharton de Hermione Lee
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Edith Wharton (2007 original; edició 2007)

de Hermione Lee (Autor)

MembresRessenyesPopularitatValoració mitjanaMencions
4751039,000 (3.96)106
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 far to be more daring than her stereotype as lapidarian chronicler of the Gilded Age.--From publisher description.… (més)
Membre:jeterat
Títol:Edith Wharton
Autors:Hermione Lee (Autor)
Informació:Knopf (2007), Edition: First Edition, 880 pages
Col·leccions:La teva biblioteca
Valoració:****
Etiquetes:leaders, by-women

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Edith Wharton de Hermione Lee (2007)

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It took me all summer to read this biography which is both magnificent and a bit of a slog. I liked Lee's biography of Virginia Woolf better, but this is deep, generous, and extremely thoughful about the work. It is perhaps more about Wharton than you ever wanted to know, but some chapters are just masterpieces, mini-essays on topics as varied as her relationship with Henry James, the gardens in her last two French houses, and her reaction to modernism in the 1920s.
Best of all, I will be reading her with a much more critical and understanding eye and I have a long list of things to read and reread - esp the ghost stories.

I do recommend this, but only if you have a lot of time to give over to it. ( )
  laurenbufferd | Nov 14, 2016 |
Highly recommended for all lovers of Edith Wharton...so much about her and how she lived...Hermione Lee does a masterly job in connecting the dots of her life with her works...I had read two of her top novels before reading this book: House of Mirth and Age of Innocence...but I recommend any potential reader also read Ethan Frome and several of her popular short stories...especially enjoyed chapters and sections on Edith's library and reading...a truly remarkable person and writer...plan to read more of her work and reread this excellent bio again at a future date... ( )
  stevetempo | Oct 10, 2013 |
Take two... I think I needed a break from the nook and feel a real massive book in my hands.
  pam.enser | Apr 1, 2013 |
Having read some of Edith Wharton's novels I had picked up a little bit of information about her life, but after reading this monumental biography I feel that I know a lot more. This exhaustive account of her life is a tough read, and took me a long time. The early part of the book is fascinating with it's descriptions of a privileged New York upbringing. It made me want to know more about the "Gilded Age" and the speed of change in late 19th Century Society.
Edith Wharton herself is both inspiring and a little terrifying. What strength of will, to overcome the limitations placed upon a women in her time and to emerge in her forties as a creative woman and competent manager of her own affairs.
The sheer breadth and depth of her interests commands our respect, while her indomitable will and formidable personality make this reader at least feel a little inadequate. I felt that there was a little too much detail about her Italian Garden period and also about her admirable charity work in World War One. Hermione Lee is a respected Professor of English, and is interesting on the novels, stories and other writings when she gets to them, but one has first to plough through a lot of sometimes wearying description of holidays, developing friendships and descriptions of homes . I was left with the wish to read more of Edith Wharton's work, particularly her short stories, so I feel that Ms Lee has been successful in sharing her enthusiasm for it. She also does her best to demolish the myth that the fiction is limited to stories of "Old New York", and points to the fact that much of Mrs Wharton's output is little read.
While groaning a bit at the effort I was glad that I persevered with this long book, but I agree with other reviewers who have found it rather academic in tone. The extensive notes bear this out, being mostly references to cited works and not adding much information . Not being a French speaker I was very irritated by the lack of translations for the many passages in that language. I can see myself making use of the very full bibliography though and hunting out other books on this amazing woman's life and times.
1 vota Maura49 | Apr 3, 2012 |
This is not an easy read - but it's one that's worth the effort. Edith Wharton was a woman of phenomenal energy, application and gifts, who happened to born into a world of wealth, ease and socially stultifying privilege. This biography takes a broadly traditional and linear approach, and as such acts as a fascinating mirror on to Wharton's live. The denseness of the book reflects a life stuffed full of achievement, friendship, reading, love, gardening, interior design, and many passions and frustrations. During the long years of illness and unhappiness before she became a published writer, the reader longs for her liberation - we rush through the exhilaration Wharton found in the war years in France - and we learn to read the books alongside the life; understanding her artfulness as a creator, existing alongside her often artless approach to people. The biography took me back to the work, and enabled me to read it with much more understanding and appreciation - the best one can ask for from a literary biography.
1 vota otterley | Oct 18, 2011 |
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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 far to be more daring than her stereotype as lapidarian chronicler of the Gilded Age.--From publisher description.

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