Sarah Lang's Reviews > Edith Wharton

Edith Wharton by Hermione Lee
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's review
Nov 10, 2008

it was ok
Recommended for: Wharton fanatics
Read in December, 2007

Well, it is really a wonderful throughly researched book...but I couldn't finish it. After I got through the time of her divorce, I skipped right to the analysis of her novels along with fun andecdotes about the characters that are thinly (or not so thinly) disgused real people. The actual discussion of the literature was much more interesting to me than the story of her life. What does that say about me? Do I prefer to draft my own ideas about the author's character solely through the works I have read? For instance, I am fairly certain the character traits assigned to Simon Rosedale made Wharton's complicity in the anti-Semitism of her day glaringly apparent. To have this confirmed by quotes from her correspondence and reports of conversations with her friends was..well..depressing though unsurprising. Just one example.
Anyway, everyone go read The House of Mirth and The Custom of the Country. Now. :)
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