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Edith Wharton: An Extraordinary Life: An Illustrated Biography Paperback – September 1, 1999


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 296 pages
  • Publisher: Harry N. Abrams; New edition edition (September 1, 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0810927950
  • ISBN-13: 978-0810927957
  • Product Dimensions: 10 x 6.7 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.6 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,887,968 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

This profusely illustrated biography of Wharton (1862-1937) concentrates on the American writer as a continental traveler whose aesthetic appreciation of architecture and interior design found expression in the homes she maintained. Although she was best known for novels portraying upper-class society ( House of Mirth , 1905), Wharton also wrote about home decoration ( Italian Villas and Their Gardens , 1904). Dwight, a freelance writer and lecturer, skillfully details, with accompanying illustrations, Wharton's acute visual sense with which she designed the rooms and gardens of her homes in the U.S. and Europe. In this adequate account of Wharton's life, the author covers her divorce and her love affair with Morton Fullerton, as well as her friendships with writer Henry James and art critic Bernard Berenson. Also documented is the well-organized war relief for WW I refugees that Wharton established in Paris. Photos. Reader's Subscription Book Service alternate.
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Library Journal

Unlike other recent biographies that focus either on the literature (Shari Benstock, No Gifts from Chance, LJ 6/15/94) or on Wharton's social contexts (Susan Goodman, Edith Wharton's Inner Circle, LJ 5/15/94), Dwight's work demonstrates the centrality of architecture, travel, and gardening to Wharton's life and work. The chapters are organized around Wharton's many travels and explore the development of Wharton's aestheticism as she encounters a variety of artistic styles and theories. The greatest strength of the book is the lavish illustrations, which show clearly that Wharton was an architect of space as much as an architect of character. Indeed, after Dwight's biography one can never again read The Age of Innocence and The House of Mirth without inhabiting the grand spaces that Wharton describes. A fine complement to the works of Benstock and Goodman. Highly recommended.
Henry L. Carrigan Jr., Westerville P.L., Ohio
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

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An absolute must for any reference library on Wharton!!!
t.bourgeois@mailcity.com
It is well written with wonderful personal stories that illuminate her relationships with Henry James and Berenson and others..
Bella
Well written biography of about one of my favorite authors and designers.
Michelle Martin

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

38 of 38 people found the following review helpful By t.bourgeois@mailcity.com on September 18, 1999
Format: Paperback
This beautifully illustrated book is of the "coffeetable" variety but that moniker fails to do justice for this incredible look into the life of the brillant novelist. Scores of rare photos and documents illustrate the best text I have ever read on the private life of Ms. Wharton. This is definately not the "ice queen" of other biographers; reproduced postcards and quoted letters give graphic proof of her warm and witty personality . She was clearly blessed with a remarkable capacity for friendship and unending thirst for knowledge and experiences. This is truly the finest biography ever written on the legendary lady of letters. I cannot tell you what a pleasure it is to own this volume, it proudly sits on my shelf alongside Ms. Wharton's own works. An absolute must for any reference library on Wharton!!!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Bella on February 24, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Anyone who's interested in Edith Wharton will enjoy this book.It is well written with wonderful personal stories that illuminate her relationships with Henry James and Berenson and others..
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6 of 9 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on September 16, 2003
Format: Paperback
A MUST HAVE FOR EVERY WHARTON SCOLAR, ENTHUSIAST OR SIMPLE READER. A UNIQUE WAY OF REVEALING THE MAGNITUDE OF THIS LADY'S CHARISMA AND CONSTANT PASION FOR LIFE AND CREATION. A BOOK PORTRAYING THE MERE FACT THAT EDITH WHARTON DOES NOT CONSTITUTE "A PRISON-HOUSE" FOR LITERATURE BUT RATHER AN ECOSYSTEM OF IDEAS AND EMOTIONS. SUPERB!!!
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