Edith Wharton's satiric anatomy of American society in the first decade of the twentieth century appeared in 1913; it both appalled and fascinated its first reviewers, and established her as a major novelist. The Saturday Review wrote that she had "assembled as many detestable people as it is possible to pack between the covers of a six-hundred page novel," but concluded that the book was "brilliantly written," and "should be read as a parable."
It follows the career of Undine Spragg, recently arrived in New York from the Midwest and determined to conquer high society. Glamorous, selfish, mercenary and manipulative, her principal assets are her striking beauty, her tenacity, and her father's money. With her sights set on an advantageous marriage, Undine pursues her schemes in a world of shifting values, where triumph is swiftly followed by disillusion.
Wharton was recreating an environment she knew intimately, and Undine's education for social success is chronicled in meticulous detail. The novel superbly captures the world of post-Civil War America, as ruthless in its social ambitions as in its business and politics.
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This is a public domain text of Edith Wharton's book "The Custom of the Country" (published in 1913). The "ClicBrowz" navigation with forward, backward and cross links was designed specifically for this ebook. This provides full-coverage navigation of the ebook that allows the user to easily move throughout the book (chapters, sections, notes and supplemental information), regardless of the text size selected by the user, or the ebook device or application being used. -- "'Undine Spragg--how can you?' her mother wailed, raising a
prematurely-wrinkled hand heavy with rings to defend the note which a languid 'bell-boy' had just brought in." (Chapter 01, The Custom of the Country) Edith Wharton
First published in 1913, Edith Wharton's The Custom Of The Country is scathing novel of ambition featuring one of the most ruthless heroines in literature. Undine Spragg is as unscrupulous as she is magnetically beautiful. Her rise to the top of New York's high society from the nouveau riche provides a provocative commentary on the upwardly mobile and the aspirations that eventually cause their ruin. One of Wharton's most acclaimed works, The Custom Of The Country is a stunning indictment of materialism and misplaced values that is as powerful today for its astute observations about greed and power as when it was written nearly a century ago.
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Book Description Scribner, 2010. Board book. Book Condition: New. Bookseller Inventory # DADAX0684719266