‘My Dear Governess,’ edited by Irene Goldman-Price
In 2009 the personal papers of Anna Catherine Bahlmann came up for auction. Included in those were 135 letters from Edith Wharton to Bahlmann, who was her governess, chaperone, companion, and secretary for forty years. Yet until now Bahlmann has never been given public credit for her crucial role in Edith Wharton’s life. In fact, Wharton mentioned Bahlmann only four times in her memoir, “A Backward Glance”, referring to her once as “My Dear Governess”, the title of this collection of letters, edited and annotated, superbly, by Irene Goldman-Price.