On Oct. 26, 1900 Henry James first wrote Edith Wharton. Wharton, then 38, had published her first collection of stories, "The Greater Inclination," the previous year. An enormous admirer of James, she modeled parts of her work after his, including his attention to form and his interest in ethical questions. The two became great friends, and James encouraged her writing.
Edith Wharton said of Henry James he was "perhaps the most intimate friend I ever had, though in many ways we were so different."
Michael Gorra, author of "Portrait of a Novel," and Irene Price-Goldman, editor of "My Dear Governess: The Letters of Edith Wharton to Anna Bahlmann," examine two of America's greatest writers - their lives, friendships, and literary legacies.
Irene Goldman-Price is an independent scholar, a member of the editorial board of the Edith Wharton Review, and a member of the Edith Wharton Society. She maintains an active presence at The Mount, Wharton's estate and gardens, and gave the opening lecture for the summer series there in July 2012. She was 2010-2011 Donald C. Gallup visiting scholar at the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library, where the letters of Edith Wharton to Anna Bahlmann are held.
Michael Gorra teaches English at Smith College. His books include "After Empire," "The Bells in Their Silence," and, as editor, the Norton Critical Edition of Faulkner's 'As I Lay Dying.' He lives in Northampton, Mass. He is a National Book Critics Finalist for "Portrait of a Novel."
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