They say that behind every great man is a woman. Behind Edith Wharton, there was Anna Bahlmann-her governess turned literary secretary, and her mothering, nuturing friend. When at the age of forty-five Edith falls passionately in love with a dashing, younger journalist, Morton Fullerton, and is at last opened to the world of the sensual, it threatens everything certain in her life-but especially her abiding friendship with Anna. As Edith's marriage crumbles, the women must face the fragility at the heart of all friendships. The Age of Desire takes us on a vivid journey through Wharton's early Gilded Age world: Paris with its glamorous literary salons and dark secret cafes, the Wharton's elegant house in Lenox, Massachusetts, and Henry James's manse in Rye, England. Edith's real letters and intimate diary entries are woven throughout the book. The Age of Desire brings to life one of literature's most beloved writers, whose own story was as complex and nuanced as that of any of the heroines she created.