The House of Mirth (Wordsworth Classics)

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9781840224191: The House of Mirth (Wordsworth Classics)

The House of Mirth tells the story of Lily Bart, aged 29, beautiful, impoverished and in need of a rich husband to safeguard her place in the social elite, and to support her expensive habits - her clothes, her charities and her gambling. Unwilling to marry without both love and money, Lily becomes vulnerable to the kind of gossip and slander which attach to a girl who has been on the marriage market for too long. Wharton charts the course of Lily's life, providing, along the way, a wider picture of a society in transition, a rapidly changing New York where the old certainties of manners, morals and family have disappeared and the individual has become an expendable commodity.

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"The heart of the wise is in the house of mourning; but the heart of fools is in the house of mirth," warns Ecclesiastes 7:4, and so does the novel by Edith Wharton that takes its title from this call to heed. New York at the turn of the century was a time of opulence and frivolity for those who could afford it. But for those who couldn't and yet wanted desperately to keep up with the whirlwind, like Wharton's charming Lily Bart, it was something else altogether: a gilded cage rather than the Gilded Age.

One of Wharton's earliest descriptions of her heroine, in the library of her bachelor friend and sometime suitor Lawrence Selden, indicates that she appears "as though she were a captured dryad subdued to the conventions of the drawing room." Indeed, herein lies Lily's problem. She has, we're told, "been brought up to be ornamental," and yet her spirit is larger than what this ancillary role requires. By today's standards she would be nothing more than a mild rebel, but in the era into which Wharton drops her unmercifully, this tiny spark of character, combined with numerous assaults by vicious society women and bad luck, ultimately renders Lily persona non grata. Her own ambivalence about her position serves to open the door to disaster: several times she is on the verge of "good" marriage and squanders it at the last moment, unwilling to play by the rules of a society that produces, as she calls them, "poor, miserable, marriageable girls.

Lily's rather violent tumble down the social ladder provides a thumbnail sketch of the general injustices of the upper classes (which, incidentally, Wharton never quite manages to condemn entirely, clearly believing that such life is cruel but without alternative). From her start as a beautiful woman at the height of her powers to her sad finale as a recently fired milliner's assistant addicted to sleeping drugs, Lily Bart is heroic, not least for her final admission of her own role in her downfall. "Once--twice--you gave me the chance to escape from my life and I refused it: refused it because I was a coward," she tells Selden as the book draws to a close. All manner of hideous socialite beasts--some of whose treatment by Wharton, such as the token social-climbing Jew, Simon Rosedale, date the book unfortunately--wander through the novel while Lily plummets. As her tale winds down to nothing more than the remnants of social grace and cold hard cash, it's hard not to agree with Lily's own assessment of herself: "I have tried hard--but life is difficult, and I am a very useless person. I can hardly be said to have an independent existence. I was just a screw or a cog in the great machine I called life, and when I dropped out of it I found I was of no use anywhere else." Nevertheless, it's even harder not to believe that she deserved better, which is why The House of Mirth remains so timely and so vital in spite of its crushing end and its unflattering portrait of what life offers up. --Melanie Rehak

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Edith Wharton
Editorial: Wordsworth Editions Ltd, United Kingdom (2012)
ISBN 10: 1840224193 ISBN 13: 9781840224191
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Descripción Wordsworth Editions Ltd, United Kingdom, 2012. Paperback. Estado de conservación: New. New edition. Language: English . Brand New Book. Introduction and Notes by Janet Beer, Manchester Metropolitan University. The House of Mirth tells the story of Lily Bart, aged 29, beautiful, impoverished and in need of a rich husband to safeguard her place in the social elite, and to support her expensive habits - her clothes, her charities and her gambling. Unwilling to marry without both love and money, Lily becomes vulnerable to the kind of gossip and slander which attach to a girl who has been on the marriage market for too long. Wharton charts the course of Lily s life, providing, along the way, a wider picture of a society in transition, a rapidly changing New York where the old certainties of manners, morals and family have disappeared and the individual has become an expendable commodity. The House of Mirth was published in October 1905 to widespread critical acclaim. It became an instant bestseller and is regarded today as one of Edith Wharton s most accomplished and compelling social satires. Nº de ref. de la librería AAZ9781840224191

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Edith Wharton (author), Janet Beer (introduction), Keith Carabine (series editor)
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Descripción Wordsworth Editions Ltd 2002-02-05, Ware, 2002. paperback. Estado de conservación: New. Nº de ref. de la librería 9781840224191

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Edith Wharton
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ISBN 10: 1840224193 ISBN 13: 9781840224191
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Descripción Wordsworth Editions Ltd, United Kingdom, 2012. Paperback. Estado de conservación: New. New edition. Language: English . Brand New Book. Introduction and Notes by Janet Beer, Manchester Metropolitan University. The House of Mirth tells the story of Lily Bart, aged 29, beautiful, impoverished and in need of a rich husband to safeguard her place in the social elite, and to support her expensive habits - her clothes, her charities and her gambling. Unwilling to marry without both love and money, Lily becomes vulnerable to the kind of gossip and slander which attach to a girl who has been on the marriage market for too long. Wharton charts the course of Lily s life, providing, along the way, a wider picture of a society in transition, a rapidly changing New York where the old certainties of manners, morals and family have disappeared and the individual has become an expendable commodity. The House of Mirth was published in October 1905 to widespread critical acclaim. It became an instant bestseller and is regarded today as one of Edith Wharton s most accomplished and compelling social satires. Nº de ref. de la librería AAZ9781840224191

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Descripción Wordsworth Editions Ltd 2002-02-01, 2002. Estado de conservación: New. Brand new book, sourced directly from publisher. Dispatch time is 24-48 hours from our warehouse. Book will be sent in robust, secure packaging to ensure it reaches you securely. Nº de ref. de la librería NU-BER-00250053

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Descripción Wordsworth Editions Ltd 2002-02-01, 2002. Paperback. Estado de conservación: New. Nº de ref. de la librería NU-GRD-00427042

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Descripción Estado de conservación: New. Depending on your location, this item may ship from the US or UK. Nº de ref. de la librería 97818402241910000000

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Descripción Wordsworth Editions Ltd. Estado de conservación: New. 1998. Paperback. The heroine of this novel is Lily Bart, whose goal is to secure a rich husband who can sustain her lifestyle. She operates in a world where social position is important, but money can buy it. Lily is redeemed by her clear view of the corrupt society which is her gilded cage. Series Editor(s): Carabine, Dr. Keith. Series: Wordsworth Classics. Num Pages: 320 pages. BIC Classification: FA; FC. Category: (G) General (US: Trade). Dimension: 197 x 128 x 18. Weight in Grams: 212. . . . . . Books ship from the US and Ireland. Nº de ref. de la librería V9781840224191

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Edith Wharton
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Descripción Wordsworth Editions Ltd, 2002. Paperback. Estado de conservación: New. BRAND NEW ** SUPER FAST SHIPPING FROM UK WAREHOUSE ** 30 DAY MONEY BACK GUARANTEE. Nº de ref. de la librería mon0000407300

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Edith Wharton
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Descripción Wordsworth Editions Ltd, 1998. Estado de conservación: New. 1998. Paperback. The heroine of this novel is Lily Bart, whose goal is to secure a rich husband who can sustain her lifestyle. She operates in a world where social position is important, but money can buy it. Lily is redeemed by her clear view of the corrupt society which is her gilded cage. Series Editor(s): Carabine, Dr. Keith. Series: Wordsworth Classics. Num Pages: 320 pages. BIC Classification: FA; FC. Category: (G) General (US: Trade). Dimension: 197 x 128 x 18. Weight in Grams: 212. . . . . . . Nº de ref. de la librería V9781840224191

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Wharton, Edith
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Descripción Wordsworth Editions, 2002. Paperback. Estado de conservación: New. New copy. Order before 11am to ensure same (working) day dispatch. Orders will be dispatched by 1st Class post, heavier items by 2nd Class or courier. Standard mail will be dispatched by 2nd Class post or Parcel Force. Overseas orders will be dispatched by priority airmail. Nº de ref. de la librería mon0000017974

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