A first-rate writer of juvenile fiction and non-fiction presents a sound, sometimes witty, biography of a woman she claims is definitely not in the first rank of American writers, nor did Edith Wharton ever aspire to be. Miss Coolidge's selection of details is careful; her comments on Edith Wharton's writings are astute and clearly stated. The effects of her ""unequal marriage"" (she married a dull man) on her life are analyzed through the lady's actions and associations. An interesting lengthy discussion of the friendship with Henry James and a comparison of their literary methods and styles seems accurate. Miss Coolidge has drawn a full length-- from birth to death-- portrait of the author, giving attention also to the various levels of society in which Edith Wharton moved. Each novel and collection is placed chronologically and discussed in relation to the author's life. A valuable, well constructed literary biography, it makes for exceptionally good reading-- for study and pleasure.