By Edith Wharton
(Book Jacket prestige: Jacketed)Introduction by means of Pamela KnightsIn the home of Mirth, Edith Wharton depicts the glittering salons of Gilded Age big apple with precision and wit, whilst she movingly portrays the stumbling blocks that impeded women's offerings on the flip of the century.The appealing, much-desired Lily Bart has been raised to be one of many ideal other halves of the rich top type, yet her spark of personality and self sufficient force prevents her from turning into one of many many girls who will reach these circles. notwithstanding her hope for a comfy lifestyles implies that she can't marry for romance with no cash, her resistance to the foundations of the social elite endangers her many marriage proposals. As Lily spirals down into debt and dishonor, her tale takes at the resonance of vintage tragedy. one among Wharton's such a lot bracing and nuanced pix of the lifetime of ladies in a opposed, hugely ordered global, the home of Mirth exposes the truths approximately American excessive society that its denizens such a lot needed to disclaim.
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Extra info for The House of Mirth (Everyman's Library (Cloth))
She had known him for eight years or more: ever since her return to America he had formed a part of her background. She had always been glad to sit next to him at dinner, had found him more agreeable than most men, and had vaguely wished that he possessed the other qualities needful to fix her attention; but till now she had been too busy with her own affairs to regard him as more than one of the pleasant accessories of life. Miss Bart was a keen reader of her own heart, and she saw that her sudden preoccupation with Selden was due to the fact that his presence shed a new light on her surroundings.
Selden raised himself on his elbow. " he went on, "I don't underrate the decorative side of life. It seems to me the sense of splendour has justified itself by what it has produced. The worst of it is that so much human nature is used up in the process. If we're all the raw stuff of the cosmic effects, one would rather be the fire that tempers a sword than the fish that dyes a purple cloak. And a society like ours wastes such good material in producing its little patch of purple! Look at a boy like Ned Silverton—he's really too good to be used to refurbish anybody's social shabbiness.
She hardly knew what she had been seeking, or why the failure to find it had so blotted the light from her sky: she was only aware of a vague sense of failure, of an inner isolation deeper than the loneliness about her. Her footsteps flagged, and she stood gazing listlessly ahead, digging the ferny edge of the path with the tip of her sunshade. As she did so a step sounded behind her, and she saw Selden at her side. " he remarked. " She answered gaily: "You must be quite breathless! " "I seize the distinction, but I don't mind it, since doing the one involved doing the other.