The Houseo of Mirth Author:Edith Wharton The House of Mirth helped to establish Edith Wharton's eminent literary reputation. In it she honed her acerbic style and discovered her defining subject: the fashionable New York society in which she had been raised and that held the power to debase both people and ideals. In this devastatingly accurate and finely wrought novel, the heroine is ... more »Lily Bart. The poor relation of a rich woman, Lily is beautiful, intelligent, and hopelessly addicted to the pleasures of the moneyed world of luxury and grace. But her delicacy of taste and moral sensibility render her unfit for survival in this world and helpless against the vulgarity adn greed that form the true foundation of its glittering social edifice. A brilliant protrayal of both human frailty and nobility, and a bitter attack on false social values, The House of Mirth has been hailed by Louis Auchincloss as "uniquely authentic among American novels of manners."
In spite of the title, this book is the story of a tragedy.« less