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Synopsis

This Point Blank Classics edition includes the full original text as well as exclusive images exclusive to this edition and an easy to use interactive table of contents.

The House of Mirth is the fourth novel by Edith Wharton. First published in 1905, the novel is Wharton's first important work of fiction. It sold 140,000 copies between October and the end of December, adding to Wharton's existing fortune. The House of Mirth was written while Edith Wharton lived at The Mount, her home in Lenox, Massachusetts.

Although The House of Mirth is written in the style of a novel of manners, set against the backdrop of the 1890s New York aristocracy, it is considered American literary naturalism. Wharton places her tragic heroine, Lily Bart, in a society that she describes as a "hot-house of traditions and conventions.

The House of Mirth tells the story of Lily Bart, a woman who is torn between her desire for luxurious living and a relationship based on mutual respect and love. She sabotages all her possible opportunities for a wealthy marriage, loses the esteem of her social circle, and dies young, poor, and alone.

The book received an enthusiastic review in the New York Times upon its original publication, which called it "A novel of remarkable power," and which read in part "Its varied elements are harmoniously blended, and the discriminating reader who has completed the whole story in a protracted sitting or two must rise from it with the conviction that there are no parts of it which do not properly and essentially belong to the whole. Its descriptive passages have verity and charm, it has the saving grace of humour, its multitude of personages, as we have said, all have the semblance of life."

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