Hermione Lee’s major new biography of the American novelist Edith Wharton, published this month, moves on from the traditional associations of Wharton with New York society and the Gilded Age, and looks more closely at her lifelong ties to Europe. She reads Wharton as a bold, independent and self-made twentieth-centruy figure as well as a chronicler of the snobbery and ruthlessness of Old New York. Though Wharton is more closely associated with France and Italy than anywhere else in Europe, she also had a passionate and complex feeling for England all through her life. This talk traces her connections, through friendships, places and houses, to this country. Chaired by Helen Simpson

Image credit Jane Brown

Recorded on Monday 5 February 2007.