In this widely acclaimed 2007 biography, Hermione 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.
"One might think that R.W.B. Lewis's excellent 1975 biography had precluded the need for another book about Edith Wharton. Not so. Reading Lee's superb new biography is akin to comparing a fine watercolor sketch to a vivid masterpiece.... Lee's portrait of Wharton as a strong-willed woman determined to surmount the background she drew on for inspiration, a woman obsessed with 'double lives, repression, sexual hypocrisy, hidden longings,' is a major achievement."—Publishers Weekly (starred review)