THE HOUSE OF MIRTH
An impoverished member of the privileged high society of old New York, Lily Bart is beautiful and socially agreeable, but she is almost thirty and still unmarried. Now she is keen to secure a wealthy husband to confirm her status, but the debts she contracts at the card table, her reduced circumstances and the constant gossip she attracts from malevolent tongues through her heedless behaviour and faux pas make her prospects look bleak. As suitor after suitor appears and fades away, and she is drawn further and further down a spiral of loneliness and unhappiness, she realizes that she is just one step away from losing everything she has.Published in 1905 to immediate critical and commercial success, Edith Wharton's enduringly popular novel of manners is a brilliant evocation of the economic and social changes wrought by the Gilded Age, as well as a universal satire on the constraints and follies of upper-crust conventions.
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