Lover of the Fancy

Early C20th American culture and dissent

The House of Mirth
Edith Wharton


“It was characteristic of her that she always roused speculation, that her simplest acts seemed the result of far-reaching intentions.” A searing, shocking tale of women as consumer items in a man’s world, The House of Mirth sees Lily Bart, beautiful and charming, living among the wealthy families of New York but reluctant to finally commit herself to a husband. In her search for freedom and the happiness she feels she deserves, Lily is ultimately ruined by scandal. Edith Wharton’s shattering novel created controversy on its publication in 1905 with its scathing portrayal of the world’s wealthy and the prison that marriage can become.

Paperback, 416pp
Penguin Books, 2012 (1905)
ISBN 9780141199023