Daily Archives for: December 11th, 2016

The House of Mirth by Edith Wharton (1905) – a review

The House of Mirth was the first novel by Edith Wharton. Her first book of stories, The Greater Inclination, was published in 1899. Published in 1905, The House of Mirth is the story of Lily Bart, an ambitious woman of New York City’s high society at the turn of the twentieth century.

Lily Bart is well-bred but has no money, and at age twenty-nine, is closing in on permanent spinsterhood. In those times, that was nothing less than tragic. The story is of her downward spiral over the course of about two years.

Her troubling decline was seen as a commentary on a corrupt and heartless upper class. Read More→

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George Sand on the Agony and Ecstasy of Writing

George Sand (Amantine-Lucile-Aurore Dupin; 1804-1876) the French novelist, memoirist, and essayist, was noted as much for her adventurous life and loves. Her writing life took her through great ups and downs, something familiar to those of us endeavor to live by the pen.

Her literary output was almost super-human, and encompassed more than seventy novels, countless essays and works of journalism, several plays,  and a multi-volume autobiography. It’s hard to think of another author, past or present, who comes close to being as prolific, and she managed to live a life filled with love, family life, and not a little scandal.

Here is a selection of quotes by George Sand on the joys and agonies of the writing life, many from her most loyal compatriot and correspondent, Gustave Flaubert. Read More→

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Do you learn anything from reviews of your books?

Dear Literary Ladies,

Is there anything to be gained by reading reviews of one’s books? For most authors, it’s hard to ignore reviews; what with Google alerts, Amazon and Goodreads reviews; everything’s in your face 24/7. What was your experience with reviews, and did you learn anything of value from them?

Talk of reviews! I subscribed to a clipping bureau and they come in shoals every day. So far I have received sixty-six [reviews of Anne of Green Gables ] of which sixty were kind and flattering beyond my highest expectations; of the remaining six two were a mixture of praise and blame, two were contemptuous and positively harsh. Read More→

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