The Brave Escape of Edith Wharton: A Biography by Connie N. Wooldridge is a YA book, but due to its content, I’m a bit surprised. I found this at a library book sale and brought it home because I’ve read and studied some of Wharton’s award winning novels.
Born into a wealthy, upperclass family in New York, Edith led a life of privilege. She came from old money, and lived during the era when new fortunes were being made and class wars pitted the nouveau riche against the old established wealthy families.
From an early age, Edith exhibited unusual behaviors and an interest in writing which made her stand out from the rest. Her father died at a young age, but her mother saw to it that Edith was married to a man who came from old money in order to ensure her daughter’s future security. Unfortunately, many years later it became apparent that Edith’s husband had a mental illness and they eventually divorced.
Edith was a dedicated, successful writer who became the first woman to be awarded a Pulitzer Prize. She lived much of her life in Europe, preferring it to the U.S. What truly amazed me were her many contributions to the war effort in France during World War One. She was quite fearless and chose to live in Paris during the war.
She had close relationships with other writers of her era. Henry James was one of the many who admired her and her work.
I learned a great deal about Wharton’s interesting life and enjoyed this book sale acquisition immensely. I recommend it!