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The House of Mirth (Paperback)

Author:  Edith Wharton
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The House of Mirth Wharton, Edith 1 of 1
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Learn more about The House of Mirth:

Format: Paperback
ISBN-10: 0486420493
ISBN-13: 9780486420493
Sku: 30938989
Publish Date: 4/10/2007
Dimensions:  (in Inches) 8.5H x 5.25L x 0.75T
Pages:  288
Age Range:  18 to UP
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Selden paused in surprise. (from the first line)
Wharton''s first literary success, set amid fashionable New York society, reveals the hypocrisy and destructive effects of the city''s social circle on the character of Lily Bart. Impoverished but well-born, Lily must secure her future by acquiring a wealthy husband; but her downfall -- initiated by a romantic indiscretion -- results in gambling debts and social disasters.
Published in 1905, Wharton's first novel, THE HOUSE OF MIRTH, navigates the murky waters of class-bound courtship and marriage in turn-of-the-century Manhattan. Ironic, sharp, and tragic, the novel follows beautiful, orphaned Lily Bart in her search for a rich husband, her sad sojourn among the upper classes, and her doomed efforts to belong to a world in which she has no place.Published in 1905, Edith Wharton's first novel, THE HOUSE OF MIRTH, navigates the murky waters of class-bound courtship and marriage in turn-of-the-century upper-crust Manhattan. Ironic, sharp, and tragic, the novel follows beautiful, orphaned Lily Bart in her search for a rich husband--the only route open to her if she is to survive in a ruthlessly materialistic world. Mercilessly, Wharton exposes the cruelty and indifference of a society in which such a woman has no role except to be exploited and looked down upon. Nor does she neglect to expose the vanity and delusions of poor Lily herself--qualities that undermine her considerable intelligence and charm. As always, Wharton is writing about a world she knows first-hand, and one in which she suffered her own trials. The complex and poignant tale of Lily Bart is one of her most popular and successful novels
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.


"There is perhaps no more searing indictment of the cruelties of capitalism... The House of Mirth is a cruel book, but it is not a cynical one... Nowhere else in fiction are the contradictions--economic, social, sexual--embodied in the person of the desirable female explored with a clearer eye." - Mary Gordon

"The House of Mirth appears to be the novel of the season...[and] has occasioned the most discussion of a serious sort. It is a work which has enlisted the matured powers of a writer whose performance is always distinguished, and whose coupling of psychological insight with the gift of expression is probably not surpassed by any other woman novelist of our time." - William Payne Morton 01/01/1905

Book Text
"There are certain subjects too shallow to yield anything to the most searching gaze... Now my problem was how to make use of a subject--fashionable New York--which, of all ofthers, seemed most completely to fall within the condemned category... A frivolous society can acquire dramatic significance only through what its frivolity destroys... The answer was my heroine, Lily Bart." - Edith Wharton

essay on Wharton
"[U]niquely authentic among American novels of manners." - Louis Auchincloss

San Francisco Chronicle
"Perhaps the finest study of American social life, certainly the strongest and most artistic novel of the year...." - George H. Fitch 10/29/1905

Times Literary Supplement
"The first pages of this novel make it obvious, even if the writer's name had not conveyed the information, that we have to consider a serious work of fiction....There is no doubt that Mrs. Wharton has so illuminated the 'House of Mirth' for us that we shall not soon forget it." - Virginia Woolf 11/15/1905

Product Attributes

Product attributeeBooks:   Kobo
Product attributeBook Format:   Paperback
Product attributeMinimum Age:   14
Product attributeNumber of Pages:   0288
Product attributePublisher:   Dover Publications
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