The act of reading ... begins on a flat surface, counter or page, and then gets stirred and chopped and blended until what we make, in the end, is a dish, or story, all our own.
— Adam Gopnik
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

September 6, 2012

Only connect: Edith Wharton and Middlemarch

      As for Middlemarch, we must return to it & continue our discussion. I always have a sweet faiblesse for Rosamond which I suppose notes a sympathetic flaw in my own moral structure.
      As for Dorothea, what most jars upon me is her want of artistic feeling, -- a wonderful touch of character drawing, but so well drawn that it continually jars [sic] provokes me. There was no aestheric side to her nature. And indeed your enthusiasts are all narrow-minded. Will Ladislaw is charming, but somehow although a great deal is said of the passion between him & Dorothea one fails all through to feel its power. When it was so dangerous to love at all, they ought to have loved a great deal more! A continual desire on my part to throttle Mr. Brooke, Mrs. Cadwallader & Cecilia & Sir James only shows how wonderfully life-like they all are. Well goodbye to literature for the present.

-- Edith Wharton, at 16, from My Dear Governess:
the Letters of Edith Wharton to Anna Bahlmann
edited by Irene Goldman-Price

Team Middlemarch is reading Middlemarch 140 years after it was first published; Edith and Anna were reading about 6 or 7 years after. {This wonderful photo, from the same book, was taken about a year earlier.}  As for us, we must return to it & continue our discussion on October 6, but we rather like Mrs. C.  :)

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

That is wonderful. I'm still waiting for the Wharton letters to arrive at the library, but my copy of Middlemarch is at hand.

Thank you for visiting!

Card Catalog

#6barsets #emma200th #maisie #PalliserParty #Woolfalong A.A. Milne Agatha Christie Alexander McCall Smith Allison Pearson Amy Lowell Angela Thirkell Ann Bridge Anne Perry Anthony Trollope Anticipation Armchair Travels Art Audiobooks Barbara Pym Biography Bloomsbury Bookish things Boston British Library Crime Classics Cambridge Cathleen Schine Charles Dickens Coffee-table books Cookbooks D.E. Stevenson Deborah Crombie Donna Leon Dorothy L. Sayers Dorothy Whipple E.H. Young E.M. Delafield E.M. Forster Edith Wharton Elinor Lipman Elizabeth Gaskell Elizabeth Jenkins Elizabeth Taylor Elizabeth von Arnim Ellizabeth Taylor Emily Dickinson Ernest Hemingway Eudora Welty Fiction Films Food from Books Food Writing Found on a Blog George Eliot Georgette Heyer Helen Ashton Henry James History Homes and Haunts Ideas Imogen Robertson Isabella Stewart Gardner Jacqueline Winspear Jane Austen Joanna Trollope Julia Child Language Laurie Colwin Letters Library Books Literature Louise Andrews Kent Louise Penny M.F.K. Fisher Madame Bovary Madame de Sévigné Madame de Staël Margaret Kennedy Margery Sharp Martha Grimes Mary Shelley Memoirs Miss Read My Year with Edith Mysteries Nathaniel Hawthorne Nonfiction Nook Only Connect P.D. James Paris in July Persephones Plays Poetry Pride and Prejudice 200 Queen Victoria R.I.P. Reading England 2015 Ruth Rendell Sarah Orne Jewett Short Stories Switzerland Sylvia Beach Team Middlemarch The 1924 Club The Brontës the Carlyles The Classics Club Thomas Hardy Virago Virginia Woolf Washington Irving Willa Cather William Maxwell Winifred Peck Winifred Watson