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‘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.’
‘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.’