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Author:  Edith Wharton
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The Custom of the Country Wharton, Edith 1 of 1
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FORMAT: Paperback
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Learn more about The Custom of the Country:

Format: Paperback
ISBN-10: 0553213938
ISBN-13: 9780553213935
Sku: 30098925
Publish Date: 4/10/2007
Dimensions:  (in Inches) 6.5H x 4.25L x 0.75T
Pages:  480
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"Undine Spragg--how CAN you?" her mother wailed, raising a prematurely-wrinkled hand heavy with rings to defend the note which a languid "bell-boy" had just brought in. (from the first line)
First published in 1913, Edith Wharton' s The Custom of the Country is a scathing novel of ambition featuring one of the most ruthless heroines in literature. Undine Spragg is as unscrupulous as she is magnetically beautiful. Her rise to the top of New York' s high society from the nouveau riche provides a provocative commentary on the upwardly mobile and the aspirations that eventually cause their ruin. One of Wharton' s most acclaimed works, The Custom of the Country is a stunning indictment of materialism and misplaced values that is as powerful today for its astute observations about greed and power as when it was written nearly a century ago.
From the Publisher:
Undine Spragg, selfish and spoiled, determines to gain admittance into turn-of-the-century New York society
THE CUSTOM OF THE COUNTRY marks Edith Wharton's return to the satiric tone of THE HOUSE OF MIRTH. She follows bored, passive Ralph Marvell, a gentle young man with the heart of a poet, as he squanders his family's modest inheritance in an attempt to find happiness. But the real star of Wharton's narrative is the beautiful, ambitious, and blatantly amoral schemer, Undine Spragg, who manipulates her nouveau-riche Midwestern parents into taking her East. There she rampages through New York society in search of a wealthy husband--who turns out, disastrously, to be Ralph Marvell. Wharton savages the vulgar Spraggs, who live only for money and what it can bring, while appreciating the culture and traditional values of the old guard. But her satiric eye spares no one: with the genteel Marvell family, Wharton illustrates how completely a corrupt society can affect individual characters no matter how they try to resist. Considered one of Edith Wharton's greatest novels, THE CUSTOM OF THE COUNTRY is also notable for the author's understanding of the power of the media--of gossip and sensationalism--even in the 1870s.
Author Bio
Edith Wharton
Born to a wealthy New York family, Edith Wharton, who eventually wrote over 50 works, spent much of her childhood in Europe developing an appreciation for the arts. In 1885 she married a wealthy banker, Edward Robbins Wharton, and turned to writing--books on decorating, then novels. In 1906, Wharton moved to Paris where she was engaged in a passionate affair with Morton Fullerton. In 1913 she divorced her husband. By this time, Wharton had achieved fame and began spending time among a society of writers and intellectuals that included Henry James. THE AGE OF INNOCENCE, just one of her many classic works, won the Pulitzer Prize in 1920. In addition to her novels, Wharton produced poetry, travel books, and literary criticism.


" a work of satire it is powerful... Mrs. Wharton is a good hater..." - William Lyon Phelps 07/1916

"... a return to the rich, sure ground of New York and the novel of manners, only this time the central character in the conflict of social groups is not a victim but an invader... The story of how she hews her way through the old New York ranks is vivid and fascinating." - Louis Auchincloss

Product Attributes

Product attributeeBooks:   Kobo
Product attributeBook Format:   Pocketbook
Product attributeNumber of Pages:   0480
Product attributePublisher:   Bantam Classics
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