This is the third volume in the new English translation of Proust's "A la ricerche de temp perdu," completed in 2001 under the guise of General Editor Christopher Prendergast, in which each volume is written by a different author. This groundbreaking new edition is the first entirely original English translation of Proust's novel since C. K. Scott Moncrieff first adapted it into English back in the Edwardian era (The 1993 Modern Library edition by D. J. Enright is a revision of the old Scott/Kilmartin translation which does little more than bring it in line with the current French edition of the novel).
This new translation is said to be more loyal to the French original. It is also said flow better and be more readable. Whereas I can't vouche for either of the above claims myself, since I don't read French and this is my first time tackling the novel, I can tell you that I am almost finished with Mark Treharne's translation of "The Guermantes Way" and I'm greatly enjoying it. In fact, I find it more interesting that the first two volumes (which I read in the Modern Library translation). I think this is due not only to the new subject matter but also the more readable translation.
This edition also contains invaluable endnotes explaining Proust's cultural references about people, places, and things alluded to in the text which are probably unfamiliar to the contemporary anglophone reader. These endnotes were truly enlighting and added to my enjoyment of the book. For instance, I can't imagine reading this volume without the account of the Dreyfus affair (a divisive political controversy involving the military and anti-semitism oft discussed in the fin de siecle French salons depicted by Proust) and its players.
In this volume, the snobbish young narrator first begins to enter the Parisian high society of the Guermantes. There he renews his friendship with Robert de Saint-Loup, the dashing young army officer he met in Balbec, and Saint-Loup's great aunt, Mme. de Villeparisis, who is writing her memoirs. He also encounters Saint-Loup's uncle once again, the enigmatic M. de Charlus who offers to be the narrator's mentor in his quest to conquer high society. The narrator also makes the acquaintance of the beautiful Duchesse de Guermantes, a woman who long fascinating him due to her surnames romantic association with the countryside where he spent his childhood summers. Furthermore, in this volume, the narrator first becomes intimately acquainted with Albertine, the great love of his life.
Perhaps my favorite passage was a long description of the narrator's first visit to Mme. Villeparisis salon, of all the interesting characters he meets there, and of the conversations that take place. Proust's painstaking description truly summons up this world which seized to exist over a century ago for the reader.
If you are interesting in tackling "the Guermantes Way" I recommend you get your hands on this superior translation.