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December 28, 2020 51 min

“Historically, women have had to frame their own intellectual advancement in alternative terms.” When writer Edith Wharton died in 1937, her library of more than five thousand volumes was divided and subsequently sold. Decades later, it was reassembled and returned to The Mount, her historic Massachusetts estate. WHAT A LIBRARY MEANS TO A WOMAN is a book by Sheila Liming that examines personal libraries as technologies of self-creation in modern America. For Wharton, a library meant a home, a school, a sense of independence, a place of solitude but not loneliness, and a place where she set rules for herself as a writer and as a reader. Liming is joined here by Nynke Dorhout and Anne Schuyler of The Mount in Lenox, MA, and by Wharton scholar Donna Campbell. This conversation was recorded in December 2020. For more information: z.umn.edu/whatalibrarymeans edithwhartonslibrary.org edithwharton.org whartoncompleteworks.org

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