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‘Wharton’s own life, so comfortable that she secretly bailed out Henry James in his old age. He never knew. I’ve always admired her for that.’
‘Once you’ve subsumed your own tone to the great and the good, it’s curtains for plot development and time to put the kettle on.’
‘I write biography, social history and memoir and yet I have learned from them all; factual writing borrowing some of fiction’s clothes.’