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Rebecca proved that literary merit is not the antithesis of a good yarn; it is possible, perhaps preferable, to do both.’
‘Most of the Victorians I loved have lost their shine too, for me, except George Eliot; her luminous sense of justice and vision distinguish her. ‘
‘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.’