The House of Mirth (The Penguin English Library) Paperback – 26 Apr 2012
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"Beautifully produced, this may well become the standard reading text."--E.N. Feltskog, University of Wisconsin"Essential reading to know this chronicler par excellence. Great for english, humanities and women's studies courses."--J.C. Moore, Scottsdale Community College"I always choose Oxford World Classics editions whenever I can because their introductions and notes are the most useful and the texts are clearly the most carefully prepared. This book looks to be no exception!"--Laura Dabundo, Kennesaw State College"Beautiful, thoroughgoing, very professional--a complete 'treatment' of the text from Introduction to Chronology to Bibliography and Notes. Plus the great affordable price! A really terrific edition."--John Dempsey, Brown University"Excellent, reasonably priced edition. . . . introduction [is] useful for background and critical information."--Lynn F. Williams, Emerson College --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.
* First published in 1905, THE HOUSE OF MIRTH portrays the moral, social and economic restraints on a woman who dared to claim the privileges of marriage without assuming the responsibilities. --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.See all Product Description
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Top Customer Reviews
Wharton, who grew up in this same environment, pulls no punches. We see both the glamour and richness of late 19th century New York society, along with it's evil underside. Wharton's prose is glorious, but you have to pay attention and not wander or you'll end up back tracking and reading that paragraph again so as not to miss the story, you want to slow down and enjoy it like a fine red wine or a box of chocolate (or both). If you enjoy classic literature with a soap opera melodramatic tone to it (like Hardy's Tess), this should be right up your alley. So many times Lily and Seldon missed their opportunity for happiness! Have the hanky ready for the last chapters, you'll need it.
The novel follows the events surrounding Lily Bart, a society beauty in 19th century New York, who must marry money in order to secure a life of luxury. Lily's flawed character is marvellously fleshed-out - making her a very real heroine. A number of suitors present themselves, but Lily's inability to marry solely for money, the prejudices of New York Society and ultimately - Lily's tendency to play her cards badly - produces a thoroughly absorbing ending.
The film, by the way, does not do the novel justice.
Lily's descent into poverty is terribly compelling to witness; scandal follows scandal, as Lily's circle of former acquaintance turns it back on her and leaves only a few caring true friends. Your heart sinks with every step down the social ladder for Lily, and the close of the novel is tragic and moving. Despite her flaws, you are still rooting for Lily to regain her rightful status in genteel society, and this is evidence enough that Edith Wharton was a masterful storyteller. I have yet to see the film of the novel, starring Gillian Anderson as Lily, but if it remains true to the novel, then it must be worth seeing.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
For the final weeks of this year, I wanted to step away from the modern set of storytellers and revisit my favorites of bygone eras. I would be an ignorant churl to neglect Mrs. Read morePublished 2 days ago by Elspeth G. Perkin
Excellent reading. Could not literally put it down. Great addition to my library. I love this book. Buy it folks. You won't regret it.Published 3 months ago by Sherrisse Lindsay
I was hooked by the bottom of page 1 and read the tragic and poignant ending several times. A beautiful and touching story.Published 4 months ago by elliewest