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Backward Glance

Backward Glance

A Backward Glance is Edith Wharton's vivid account of both her public and her private life. With richness and delicacy, it describes the sophisticated New York society in which Wharton spent her youth, and chronicles her travels throughout Europe and her literary success as an adult. Beautifully depicted are her friendships with many of the most celebrated artists and writers of her day, including her close friend Henry James.
In his introduction to this edition, Louis Auchincloss calls the writing in A Backward Glance "as firm and crisp and lucid as in the best of her novels." It is a memoir that will charm and fascinate all readers of Wharton's fiction.
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  • Scribner | 
  • 424 pages | 
  • ISBN 9780684847559 | 
  • July 1998
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Chapter 1

THE BACKGROUND

Gute Gesellschaft hab ich gesehen; man nennt sie die gute Wenn sie zum kleinsten Gedicht nicht die Gelegenheit giebt.

Goethe: Venezianische Epigrammen

1

It was on a bright day of midwinter, in New York. The little girl who eventually became me, but as yet was neither me nor anybody else in particular, but merely a soft anonymous morsel of humanity -- this little girl, who bore my name, was going for a walk with her father. The episode is literally the first thing I can remember about her, and therefore I date the birth of her identity from that day.

She had been put... see more

About the Author

Edith Wharton

Edith Wharton was the first woman to win a Pulitzer Prize, for The Age of Innocence. Born in 1862 into one of New York's older and richer families, she was educated here and abroad. Her works include Ethan Frome, The Reef, The Custom of the Country, The Glimpses of the Moon, and Roman Fever and Other Stories. As a keen observer and chronicler of society, she is without peer. Edith Wharton died in France in 1937.

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