House of Mirth
153 Installments—Entirely free
Glitz and glamour collide with poverty and scandal in The House of Mirth, Edith Wharton’s celebrated novel about the vicious nature of Old New York society. Our smart, lovely heroine Lily Bart moves flawlessly in high social circles, and everyone expects her to marry well, but she sabotages her own opportunities. An idealist who yearns for true love, Lily is also a realist who values her luxurious lifestyle too highly to marry for love alone. Torn between these two impulses, Lily behaves inconsistently and her wealthy friends gradually begin to avoid her. She entertains several suitors, including her devoted but middle-class friend Lawrence Selden, and the wealthy Jewish lawyer Simon Rosedale. But when the news of Lily’s debts begin to spread, her reputation suffers, and all it takes is one malicious slander to seal her fate as a social outcast. Destitute and disinherited, Lily’s fall from grace appears to have no end, and with the final tragedy, Wharton portrays the moral and emotional cost of the high life.
Back to top
Opening Lines (Experimental)
Selden paused in surprise. In the afternoon rush of the Grand Central Station his eyes had been refreshed by the sight of Miss Lily Bart.
It was a Monday in early September, and he was returning to his work from a hurried dip into the country; but what was Miss Bart doing in town at that season? If ...
Reviewed by AmberStClaire on Feb 8, 2009
Miss Lilly Bart
Edith Wharton has the ability to create truly unforgettable characters...Miss Lilly Bart, is one of them.
I love Edith Wharton's sharp wit...her profound insights about human nature,..how cruel we can be to one another!
I was saddened and not a little disappointed by the ending to The House Of Mirth...I expected better, and feel Lilly Bart deserved more.
Login to review this book
Not yet registered?
Ratings for 'House of Mirth' by Wharton, Edith