Alex Mar

  • Society's Child

    When a young Edith Wharton first met Henry James at a dinner party, the twenty-five-year-old New York socialite thought she knew just the thing to make a lasting impression: Deck yourself out in the latest French design. Needless to say, this had little effect on the stoic and reclusive James. “Those were the principles in which I had been brought up,” she would later write with some embarrassment, “and it would never have occurred to me that I had anything but my youth, and my pretty frock, to commend me.”

    But Wharton would reinvent herself as a serious writer, at age forty-three, with her