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The House of Mirth (1905)

by Edith Wharton

Other authors: See the other authors section.

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
8,220178709 (4.04)703
The tragic story of a beautiful young woman caught up in the shallow and corrupt world of New York society at the turn of the century, where wealth and social status are everything.
  1. 110
    Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen (SandSing7)
    SandSing7: Wharton is as American as Austen is British. Read both works for a comparitive "across the pond" view on the novel of manners.
  2. 71
    The Portrait of a Lady by Henry James (carlym)
  3. 11
    The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald (kara.shamy)
  4. 22
    The Mill on the Floss by George Eliot (kara.shamy)
  5. 22
    Middlemarch by George Eliot (kara.shamy)
  6. 01
    Tess of the d'Urbervilles by Thomas Hardy (Lapsus_Linguae)
    Lapsus_Linguae: Both novels depict an attractive young woman who becomes an outcast because of society's sexual mores.
  7. 01
    Sister Carrie by Theodore Dreiser (kara.shamy)
Modernism (107)
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» See also 703 mentions

English (171)  Spanish (3)  Dutch (1)  Hungarian (1)  Piratical (1)  French (1)  All languages (178)
Showing 1-5 of 171 (next | show all)
this book is even more depressing than the age of innocence if that's possible. the writing is genius but the plot is infuriating. Granted Wharton's novel(s) of manners is the only kind I can actually tolerate but I'm glad that type of novel has become antiquated. side note: Not a fan of her antisemitism. ( )
  PRose0590 | Aug 12, 2020 |
Beautiful, sophisticated and endlessly ambitious Lily Bart endeavors to climb the social ladder of New York's elite by securing a good match and living beyond her means.

Now nearing 30 years of age and having rejected several proposals, forever in the hope of finding someone better, her future prospects are threatened.

A damning commentary of 20th-century social order,
  Gmomaj | Jul 27, 2020 |
What a sad tale! In a way it's Mean Girls, 20th Century style, but the protagonist doesn't win. As a novel of manners, it captures the behaviors of upper class New Yorkers at the end of the Gilded Age with some laugh-out-loud insights. This story offers much to sink your teeth into, but I won't spoil it for you with details. Get a cup of tea and enjoy it. ( )
  MMKY | Jul 3, 2020 |
Failed fortune hunter
too picky for a beggar
she's got bills to pay. ( )
  Eggpants | Jun 25, 2020 |
The entire time I had read this book, way back in college, I kept thinking about how the American Aristocracy hasn't changed in the slightest over the years, and how the old and new monies had evolved (or not) into the families Kennedy and Astor and Roosevelt and Hilton ad nauseum. Of course, I was nauseous then, even when I could appreciate the contrast to Victorian English Authorship. Why am I so pissy about the "great" American Authors?

It might be because they suck.

Oh, all right, I'm being grossly unfair and I'll giving this novel 3 stars instead of 2 because I'm smart enough to read the book by context; but really, it ain't my favorite style or subject matter. ( )
  bradleyhorner | Jun 1, 2020 |
Showing 1-5 of 171 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (45 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Wharton, Edithprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Bawden, NinaIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Beer, JanetEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Bron, EleanorNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Brookner, AnitaIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Caruso, BarbaraNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Cheshire, GerardContributorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Fields, AnnaNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Lewis, R. W. B.Introductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
McCaddon, WandaNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Pirè, LucianaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Wenzell, A. B.Illustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Selden paused in surprise.
Edith Wharton is the grande dame of American literature. (Introduction)
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The tragic story of a beautiful young woman caught up in the shallow and corrupt world of New York society at the turn of the century, where wealth and social status are everything.

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Book description
Set in the opulent houses and glittering resorts of New York's fashionable society, this is the story of Lily Bart, beautiful, witty and sophisticated, accepted by "old money", courted by the growing tribe of nouveaux riches. But, as she nears thirty, her foothold becomes precarious: she needs a husband to preserve her social and financial standing, to maintain her in the luxury she craves. Many men have sought her, but something - fastidiousness, an uncomfortable intelligence or some deep-seated integrity - prevents her from making a "suitable" match. Watched by the admiring but impoverished Lawrence Selden, she struggles courageously with the difficulties caused by the growing threat of poverty and her contempt for hypocrisy - a contempt which compromises her position as an unmarried woman among "the ultra-fashionable dancing people". This novel, originally published in 1905, shocked the society it chronicles, portraying the moral, social and economic constraints on a spriited woman.
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Penguin Australia

2 editions of this book were published by Penguin Australia.

Editions: 0140187294, 0141199024

Library of America Paperback Classics

An edition of this book was published by Library of America Paperback Classics.

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Tantor Media

An edition of this book was published by Tantor Media.

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Urban Romantics

2 editions of this book were published by Urban Romantics.

Editions: 1909438804, 1909438812

Recorded Books

An edition of this book was published by Recorded Books.

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