Letters to the Editor October 1989
Edith Wharton redux
To the Editors:
Had James W. Tuttleton attempted to verify his allegations about me in his zealous defense of R.W.B. Lewis (March 1989), he would have discovered the inaccuracy of his assumptions about my work on Edith Wharton. As it is, I am pleased to set the record straight on some aspects of: (1) Edith Wharton’s alleged breakdown of 1894-6; and (2) the connections between my current work on the novelist and my past contributions to Mr. Lewis’s Edith Wharton: A Biography (1975).
Edith Wharton’s alleged two-year breakdown during the mid-i 890s is but one of many instances in Mr. Lewis’s Biography in which he advances as fact what ought to have been limited by sketchy evidence to no more than conjecture. In a recent letter to the Times Literary Supplement, Mr. Lewis insists anew that “there was undoubtedly a breakdown and a serious one” during 1894-6, although he now hedges on its duration....
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