No Gifts from Chance: A Biography of Edith Wharton

TitleNo Gifts from Chance: A Biography of Edith Wharton
Publication TypeBook
Year of Publication1994
AuthorsBenstock, Shari
Number of Pages546
PublisherC. Scribner's Sons
CityNew York

Far from the emotionally withdrawn and neurasthenic victim of earlier portraits, the eminent author Edith Warton is portrayed in this biography as an ambitious, disciplined, and self-determined woman who fashioned life to her own desires. Drawing on government records, legal and medical documents, and recently opened collections of Wharton's letters, this biography offers new information on what have been called the key mysteries of her life: the question of her paternity, her troubled relations with her mother and older brothers, her marriage to manic-depressive Teddy Wharton, and her extramarital affair with Morton Fullerton. This volume also examines long-ignored facets of Wharton's life - her complex and often calculating relationships with publishers, her internationally acclaimed charitable work during World War I, and the poignant story of her ultimate financial distress that contributed to her death, a story told here for the first time. 

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