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Download Edith Wharton Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample Edith Wharton, by Hermione Lee Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (444 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Hermione Lee Narrator: Kate Readin Publisher: Penguin Random House Format: Abridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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The definitive biography of one of America’s greatest writers, from the author of the acclaimed masterpiece Virginia Woolf.

Born in 1862, Edith Wharton escaped the suffocating fate of the well-born female, traveled adventurously in Europe and eventually settled in France. After tentative beginnings, she developed a forceful literary professionalism and thrived in a luminous. Wharton’s life was fed by nonliterary enthusiasms as well: her fabled houses and gardens, her heroic relief efforts during the Great War, the culture of the Old World, which she never tired of absorbing. Yet intimacy eluded her. 

With profound empathy and insight, Lee brilliantly interweaves Wharton’s life with the evolution of her writing, the full scope of which shows her to be far more daring than her stereotype as lapidarian chronicler of the Gilded Age. In its revelation of both the woman and the writer, Edith Wharton is a landmark biography.

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Quotes & Awards

  • One of the 2007 New York Times Book Review 100 Notable Books for Nonfiction
  • Winner of the 2008 Ambassador Book Award for Biography

Listener Opinions

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 by Jason | 2/7/2014

    " I knew nothing about Edith Wharton. This biography is engrossing! What a fascinating woman! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Maia | 1/20/2014

    " One of the best bios on Wharton--more to follow. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Corinne E. Blackmer | 12/21/2013

    " This book was well written and impeccably researched. However, it is far too long and contains too many details that are not necessary and which do not illuminate the subject of Edith Wharton--her work and life. I experienced the book as a kind of seed catalogue and, while reading it, it occurred to me, in a politically incorrect nationalist fashion, that we would likely do better if an educated American, as opposed to a British woman with a decided penchant for writing biographies of our national icons (and Virginia Woolf, for which she gained her fame). This critical biography lacks national touch and does not quite do proper justice to one of our greatest writers--which is not to say that she does not praise Wharton, for she does. I found the sections on Wharton's two greatest masterpieces--The House of Mirth and The Age of Innocence--helpful and insightful, but not nearly as much as I had hoped to find them. Further, their insights did not differ much from criticism by American scholars I had read elsewhere, and who wrote long before this volume was published. I also found some details about money and estates interesting, and useful in my own research, but that is not saying much. My sense is that this book has garnered so much applause because it chanced to come along at the right time and with the right subject. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Marion | 12/5/2013

    " This was a two and a half month read for me. Very detail oriented about many periods of her life. Many letters were not kept and Lee did an admirable job recreating events from available materials. This week I visited The Mount in Lenox, MA - could picture Wharton on the veranda, walking on the grounds, watching a thunderstorm take over the sky. I hope someday to have large rooms to decorate but I have some ideas for smaller spaces. "

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