» » Edith Wharton: A Biography

Download Edith Wharton: A Biography eBook

by Richard Warrington Baldwin Lewis

Download Edith Wharton: A Biography eBook
Richard Warrington Baldwin Lewis
Arts & Literature
Harpercollins; 1st edition (August 1, 1975)
592 pages
EPUB book:
1552 kb
FB2 book:
1646 kb
1653 kb
Other formats
lrf doc azw txt

Richard Warrington Baldwin Lewis (Author).

Richard Warrington Baldwin Lewis (Author). How could I care so much for what Mrs. Wharton had done, while knowing hardly anything about her?

Richard Warrington Baldwin Lewis (November 1, 1917 - June 13, 2002) was an American literary scholar and critic.

Richard Warrington Baldwin Lewis (November 1, 1917 - June 13, 2002) was an American literary scholar and critic.

by. Lewis, R. W. B. (Richard Warrington Baldwin). The possessive years: 1919-1937.

Lewis, Richard Warrington Baldwin. Born: 1917 AD Died: 2002 AD. Nationality: Categories: . 00. Page last updated: July 24, 2006. lt;< Levitt, William Jaird Liberman, Alexander . Recent Posts.

Semantic Scholar profile for Richard Warrington Baldwin Lewis, with fewer than 50 highly influential citations. 1. View via Publisher. Perception of Indoor Exposure to Environmental Tobacco Smoke (ETS) in Urban Parents of Children wtih Asthma.

The critic added: "While a biography, Lewis' book is also an eye-opener to the literary, historical, economic, and political context of Dante's times. It would be impossible to extract some distinct, yet genuine, sense of Dante's personality from his works and complex period.

Richard Warrington Baldwin Lewis (November 1, 1917 in Chicago, Illinois . Lewis continued to write his books on a typewriter into his later years. The Jameses: A Family Narrative (1991). Literary Reflections : A Shoring of Images 1960-1993 (1993).

Richard Warrington Baldwin Lewis (November 1, 1917 in Chicago, Illinois - June 13, 2002 in Bethany, Connecticut) was an American literary scholar and critic.

Chicago native Richard Warrington Baldwin Lewis, the son of Leicester and Beatrix (Baldwin) Lewis, was born on November 1, 1917. Lewis was educated in Switzerland, at Phillips Exeter Academy, at Harvard University, at the University of Chicago, where he received his . Lewis spent World War II engaged primarily in intelligence work for the British. Following the war, he began a long academic teaching career, focused mainly on American literature and social studies, at Bennington College and Princeton, Rutgers, and Yale universities.

Alternative Title: Richard Warrington Baldwin Lewis. Lewis, American literary critic (born Nov. 1, 1917, Chicago, Il. died June 13, 2002, Bethany, Conn. helped originate the field of American studies and over his nearly half-century-long career as a scholar made significant contributions to the knowledge of American culture.

A full-scale critical biography of the turn-of-the-century American novelist, detailing the relation between her life and works, assessing her literary dedication and accomplishment, and arguing her place as a writer of the first importance
  • Flower
Edith Wharton was a talented writer, one of America's very best ever, and lived a remarkable, remarkable life. You will get every detail of it in this book. She was a grande dame, and time only made her more certain and imperious. She wore people out but they remained (mostly) devoted to her anyway. She wears biographer Lewis out, too. The excesses of her personality accumulate through this lengthy biography and by the last 100 pages one begins to wonder if Lewis likes his subject. His research is thorough to a fault; we don't need to know what Henry James's famous brother William thought about Teddy Roosevelt, but because Lewis got it from a letter, he gives it to us. There are many elements of the book that are interesting, sometimes striking (the issue of Edith's paternity, just for one) BUT -- if you love Wharton's writing, do yourself a favor and do not read this book. It will not help with her books, about which Lewis's "interpretations" are prosaic and, fortunately, brief, and it may leave an unpleasant taste in your mouth as it has for me. I read this simultaneously with Eleanor Dwight's biography, Wharton: An Extraordinary Life, which is much shorter and therefore much more selective, judiciously so (except that she does not even mention the paternity mystery). I would choose it over this big exhaustive but somehow dumb prizewinner.
  • Lemana
I have been a fan of Edith Wharton’s work for a very long time, and I recently had the real pleasure of re-reading The Age of Innocence, The House of Mirth and several of her stories. Not having gotten enough, I read The Custom of the Country for the first time as well as The Reef.

I came to Wharton through her friendship with Henry James, whose work I had idolized as a graduate student. I subscribed then to the silly notion that James was the god and Wharton an accomplished but, in the end, second-rate writer, when compared to the grand stylistic accomplishments of The Master.

I got over it.

It is no disparagement of James’s work to basically prefer Wharton’s. He is The Master, and there is no book on earth quite like The Ambassadors or The Golden Bowl. But I had read both authors before I myself became one, and so I did not understand the difficulties of writing novels or, more particularly, the kinds of social novels that I came to love writing myself.

Both James and Wharton write about wealthy society in the late 19th century United States and western Europe. He once said of his work, “Yes, I have trifled with the exordia,” a word that I believe can be translated as “the beginnings of things”. But James’s work exhaustively plumbs the depths of human emotion through its exemplary—extraordinary—vocabulary and deliciously complex sentence structure. He understands the English language almost as well as Shakespeare did, and his constant contemplation of how to express emotion most intimately is for me one of the grand achievements in English literature. So, when he talks about trifling with the exordia, I believe he is making a joke, because he goes so far beyond mere beginnings.

Edith Wharton is a different kind of writer. She was of course a very close friend of James for many years, and I can only try to imagine what conversation between them was like. Wharton’s writing is far simpler stylistically than James’s, but that notion is not intended to diminish her work at all. She writes a social scene in many ways more completely than he does because she has such an eye for the physical details of dress, setting, furniture, greenery, china, flatware...whatever...that fills the scene, and a gift for description that enables us to see those things with brilliant, revealing clarity. Also she has a splendid comic ear for conversation that often makes such scenes almost painfully funny...or just plain painful (i.e. The House of Mirth).

Despite my avid reading of her work, I haven’t known much about Edith Wharton, except that she was born Edith Jones and was a denizen from birth of highest New York high that her family name is the source of the notion of having “to keep up with the Joneses”. I had read the reviews of R.W.B. Lewis’s Edith Wharton: A Biography when it came out in 1975, and since then have intended to read the book itself, often impatient with myself for being so lazy about such an applauded work. How could I care so much for what Mrs. Wharton had done, while knowing hardly anything about her?

I just finished the book.

Lewis is himself a very fine writer. Whether describing a motor trip with James through some part of Europe or a dinner party with Bernard Berenson or Andre Gide or Marcel Proust at her apartment at 58 rue de Varenne in Paris, or an exchange of letters between herself and a lover (William Morton Fullerton) or a dear friend (Walter Berry), Lewis is unerring in the gracefulness of his prose, with a clear understanding of Mrs. Wharton’s heart and mind. Also, he will give occasional descriptive sketches of what she is writing at the moment that caused me to keep a list of stories or novels by Mrs. Wharton that I have not read. That list comprises about a dozen books, and my plan is to read them all...soon. Also, Lewis’s writing does not suffer from the barren academic pointlessness that burdens so much contemporary criticism. He’s clear, funny, erudite and thoughtful. If, in a moment of foolish error, you bump into examples of how academics write these days, you’ll realize what a great gift Lewis has offered us.

For a full and perceptive view of the life of the wonderful Edith Wharton, this book is where you should start.

Terence Clarke’s latest novel is The Notorious Dream of Jesús Lázaro The Notorious Dream of Jesús Lázaro: a novel. This piece first appeared in Huffington Post.
  • Ghile
Edith Wharton until recently has not received the interest and praise she deserved as one of the finest American authors -- was it because she was wealthy and female? Because people thought she was simply a protege of Henry James? Or because her books rarely had happy endings? Fortunately, a new generation is reappraising her work and finding much of value in it, from her critique of early 20th century American society and subtle assessment of man-woman relationships to her wonderfully textured and evocative style. RWB Lewis, who must be the foremost Wharton scholar today, brings Wharton to life in this book -- her tremendous intelligence, the terrific emotional hardships she endured, her great capacity for friendships and amazing zest for life. Wharton got started late as an author, not publishing her first book until nearly 40 -- because she had to overcome a tremendous hurdle -- being born into a society where women writers simply did not exist. Everything she accomplished thus was purely out of her own drive to communicate and create. If you haven't read much Wharton, I recommend also The Age of Innocence, The Custom of the Country, The House of Mirth, and any short stories you can lay your hands on.
  • Maldarbaq
Rather long biography but interesting. I am reading this for a book club. I tneeds to have a two month read..but then I only read one hour a day....