The Custom of the Country (Oxford World's Classics)

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9780192840615: The Custom of the Country (Oxford World's Classics)
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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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Highly acclaimed at its publication in 1913, The Custom of the Country is a cutting commentary on America's nouveaux riches, their upward-yearning aspirations and their eventual downfalls. Through her heroine, the beautiful and ruthless Undine Spragg, a spoiled heiress who looks to her next materialistic triumph as her latest conquest throws himself at her feet, Edith Wharton presents a startling, satiric vision of social behavior in all its greedy glory. As Undine moves from America's heartland to Manhattan, and then to Paris, Wharton's critical eye leaves no social class unscathed.

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Other Popular Editions of the Same Title

9780553213935: The Custom of the Country (Bantam Classics)

Featured Edition

ISBN 10:  0553213938 ISBN 13:  9780553213935
Publisher: Bantam Classics, 1991
Softcover

9780143039709: The Custom of the Country (Penguin Classics)

Pengui..., 2006
Softcover

9780375758072: The Custom of the Country (Modern Library Classics)

Modern..., 2001
Softcover

9780199555123: The Custom of the Country (Oxford World's Classics)

Oxford..., 2009
Softcover

9780679423010: The Custom of the Country (Everyman's Library Classics & Contemporary Classics)

Everym..., 1994
Hardcover

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