The House of Mirth (Oxford World's Classics)

3.95 avg rating
( 68,381 ratings by Goodreads )
 
9780199538102: The House of Mirth (Oxford World's Classics)

Since its publication in 1905 The House of Mirth has commanded attention for the sharpness of Wharton's observations and the power of her style. A lucid, disturbing analysis of the stifling limitations imposed upon women of her generation, Wharton's tale of Lily Bart's search for a husband of position in New York Society, and betrayal of her own heart, transformed the traditional novel of manners into an arrestingly modern document of cultural anthropology. With incisive contemporary analysis, the introduction by a leading scholar of American literature updates this increasingly important work.

About the Series: For over 100 years Oxford World's Classics has made available the broadest spectrum of literature from around the globe. Each affordable volume reflects Oxford's commitment to scholarship, providing the most accurate text plus a wealth of other valuable features, including expert introductions by leading authorities, voluminous notes to clarify the text, up-to-date bibliographies for further study, and much more.

"synopsis" may belong to another edition of this title.

Review:

"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

From the Publisher:

10 1.5-hour cassettes

"About this title" may belong to another edition of this title.

Buy New View Book
List Price: US$ 10.95
US$ 8.97

Convert Currency

Shipping: FREE
From United Kingdom to U.S.A.

Destination, Rates & Speeds

Add to Basket

Top Search Results from the AbeBooks Marketplace

1.

Edith Wharton
Published by Oxford University Press, United Kingdom (2009)
ISBN 10: 0199538107 ISBN 13: 9780199538102
New Paperback Quantity Available: 10
Seller:
The Book Depository
(London, United Kingdom)
Rating
[?]

Book Description Oxford University Press, United Kingdom, 2009. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Reprint. Language: English . Brand New Book. Since its publication in 1905 The House of Mirth has commanded attention for the sharpness of Wharton s observations and the power of her style. Its heroine, Lily Bart, is beautiful, poor, and unmarried at 29. In her search for a husband with money and position she betrays her own heart and sows the seeds of the tragedy that finally overwhelms her. The House of Mirth is a lucid, disturbing analysis of the stifling limitations imposed upon women of Wharton s generation. Herself born into Old New York Society, Wharton watched as an entirely new set of people living by new codes of conduct entered the metropolitan scene. In telling the story of Lily Bart, who must marry to survive, Wharton recasts the age-old themes of family, marriage, and money in ways that transform the traditional novel of manners into an arresting modern document of cultural anthropology. ABOUT THE SERIES: For over 100 years Oxford World s Classics has made available the widest range of literature from around the globe. Each affordable volume reflects Oxford s commitment to scholarship, providing the most accurate text plus a wealth of other valuable features, including expert introductions by leading authorities, helpful notes to clarify the text, up-to-date bibliographies for further study, and much more. Bookseller Inventory # AOP9780199538102

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
US$ 8.97
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: FREE
From United Kingdom to U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

2.

Edith Wharton
Published by Oxford University Press, United Kingdom (2009)
ISBN 10: 0199538107 ISBN 13: 9780199538102
New Paperback Quantity Available: 10
Seller:
The Book Depository US
(London, United Kingdom)
Rating
[?]

Book Description Oxford University Press, United Kingdom, 2009. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Reprint. Language: English . Brand New Book. Since its publication in 1905 The House of Mirth has commanded attention for the sharpness of Wharton s observations and the power of her style. Its heroine, Lily Bart, is beautiful, poor, and unmarried at 29. In her search for a husband with money and position she betrays her own heart and sows the seeds of the tragedy that finally overwhelms her. The House of Mirth is a lucid, disturbing analysis of the stifling limitations imposed upon women of Wharton s generation. Herself born into Old New York Society, Wharton watched as an entirely new set of people living by new codes of conduct entered the metropolitan scene. In telling the story of Lily Bart, who must marry to survive, Wharton recasts the age-old themes of family, marriage, and money in ways that transform the traditional novel of manners into an arresting modern document of cultural anthropology. ABOUT THE SERIES: For over 100 years Oxford World s Classics has made available the widest range of literature from around the globe. Each affordable volume reflects Oxford s commitment to scholarship, providing the most accurate text plus a wealth of other valuable features, including expert introductions by leading authorities, helpful notes to clarify the text, up-to-date bibliographies for further study, and much more. Bookseller Inventory # AOP9780199538102

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
US$ 9.47
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: FREE
From United Kingdom to U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

3.

Wharton, Edith
Published by Oxford University Press (2009)
ISBN 10: 0199538107 ISBN 13: 9780199538102
New Paperback Quantity Available: 2
Seller:
Murray Media
(North Miami Beach, FL, U.S.A.)
Rating
[?]

Book Description Oxford University Press, 2009. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Never used!. Bookseller Inventory # 0199538107

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
US$ 7.49
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: US$ 1.99
Within U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

4.

Wharton, Edith
ISBN 10: 0199538107 ISBN 13: 9780199538102
New Quantity Available: > 20
Seller:
Paperbackshop-US
(Wood Dale, IL, U.S.A.)
Rating
[?]

Book Description 2009. PAP. Book Condition: New. New Book. Shipped from US within 10 to 14 business days. Established seller since 2000. Bookseller Inventory # VU-9780199538102

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
US$ 5.62
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: US$ 3.99
Within U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

5.

Wharton, Edith
ISBN 10: 0199538107 ISBN 13: 9780199538102
New Quantity Available: 5
Seller:
Pbshop
(Wood Dale, IL, U.S.A.)
Rating
[?]

Book Description 2009. PAP. Book Condition: New. New Book.Shipped from US within 10 to 14 business days. Established seller since 2000. Bookseller Inventory # IB-9780199538102

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
US$ 5.65
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: US$ 3.99
Within U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

6.

Edith Wharton
Published by Oxford University Press
ISBN 10: 0199538107 ISBN 13: 9780199538102
New Quantity Available: > 20
Seller:
INDOO
(Avenel, NJ, U.S.A.)
Rating
[?]

Book Description Oxford University Press. Book Condition: New. Brand New. Bookseller Inventory # 0199538107

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
US$ 6.57
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: US$ 3.50
Within U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

7.

Wharton, Edith
Published by Oxford University Press, USA 3/1/2009 (2009)
ISBN 10: 0199538107 ISBN 13: 9780199538102
New Paperback or Softback Quantity Available: 2
Seller:
BargainBookStores
(Grand Rapids, MI, U.S.A.)
Rating
[?]

Book Description Oxford University Press, USA 3/1/2009, 2009. Paperback or Softback. Book Condition: New. The House of Mirth. Book. Bookseller Inventory # BBS-9780199538102

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
US$ 10.18
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: FREE
Within U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

8.

Wharton, Edith
Published by Oxford University Press
ISBN 10: 0199538107 ISBN 13: 9780199538102
New PAPERBACK Quantity Available: 1
Seller:
Qwestbooks COM LLC
(Bensalem, PA, U.S.A.)
Rating
[?]

Book Description Oxford University Press. PAPERBACK. Book Condition: New. 0199538107. Bookseller Inventory # Z0199538107ZN

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
US$ 10.62
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: FREE
Within U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

9.

Wharton, Edith
Published by Oxford University Press
ISBN 10: 0199538107 ISBN 13: 9780199538102
New PAPERBACK Quantity Available: 7
Seller:
Lakeside Books
(Benton Harbor, MI, U.S.A.)
Rating
[?]

Book Description Oxford University Press. PAPERBACK. Book Condition: New. 0199538107 BRAND NEW, GIFT QUALITY, DIRECT FROM THE PUBLISHER!. Bookseller Inventory # OTF-S-9780199538102

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
US$ 7.75
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: US$ 3.99
Within U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

10.

Edith Wharton
Published by Oxford Paperbacks (2008)
ISBN 10: 0199538107 ISBN 13: 9780199538102
New Paperback Quantity Available: 1
Seller:
The Monster Bookshop
(Fleckney, United Kingdom)
Rating
[?]

Book Description Oxford Paperbacks, 2008. Paperback. Book Condition: New. BRAND NEW ** SUPER FAST SHIPPING FROM UK WAREHOUSE ** 30 DAY MONEY BACK GUARANTEE. Bookseller Inventory # mon0000208121

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
US$ 9.48
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: US$ 2.66
From United Kingdom to U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

There are more copies of this book

View all search results for this book