Hermione Lee and Tom Stoppard

Charles McGrath at the NYT:

Lee, or to be formal, Dame Hermione (she was awarded the title in 2013 for “services to literary scholarship”) is a leading member of that generation of British writers — it also includes Richard Holmes, Michael Holroyd, Jenny Uglow and Claire Tomalin — who have brought an infusion of style and imagination to the art of literary biography. She is probably most famous for her 1997 life of Virginia Woolf, which upended much of the received wisdom about Woolf and demonstrated that there was much more to say than that she was a depressive in a cardigan wading into a river. In similar fashion, her 2007 biography of Edith Wharton rescued Wharton from her snobbish, old-fashioned reputation and reimagined her as a modern.

Lee said yes to Stoppard, of course. How do you say no to someone so famous for charm? And then, as she recalled over Zoom last fall from her house in Oxford, she immediately thought to herself, “Oh my God, what have I done?”

more here.