Archive for the ‘people’ Category

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“Likely to replace R. W. B. Lewis’ groundbreaking Edith Wharton (1975) as the definitive biographical treatment, because of new sources (as well as the author’s sensitive interpretation of these sources), Lee’s tremendous biography of one of the most important American writers rises to landmark status, the same level achieved by her previous Virginia Woolf (1997). Generally thought of as the grand dame of American letters, Edith Wharton grew up and married in New York City high society and subsequently wrote about that milieu. Her popular image as handed down from her generation onward is that of a character from the pages of her own fiction: a grand, stiff society matron. But the formidable Mrs. Wharton is given great humanity here. Lee conducts an enlightening exploration of the rarefied yet, ironically, provincial and narrow world of Wharton’s formative years, which were undergoing a “jostle of social forces” between old and new money. Those very conflicts supplied her with the material she exploited throughout her long career. Upon her sad marriage, which eventually ended in divorce, Lee casts sympathetic and clarifying light. And in weighing Wharton’s considerable time spent living in Europe, Lee brings to the fore Wharton’s continued American consciousness.” – Booklist Reviews

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A book for adults about Beatrix Potter.┬áSee the new movie Miss Potter, starring Renee Zellweger, and then read “…this remarkable biography…an exploration of the life and times of a woman who is a household name on several continents, but whose personal life and significant and environmental accomplishments remain largely unknown.” – Library Journal

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