Since its publication in 1905 The House of Mirth has commanded attention for the sharpness of Wharton's observations and the power of her style. A lucid, disturbing analysis of the stifling limitations imposed upon women of her generation, Wharton's tale of Lily Bart's search for a husband of position in New York Society, and betrayal of her own heart, transformed the traditional novel of manners into an arrestingly modern document of cultural anthropology. With incisive contemporary analysis, the introduction by a leading scholar of American literature updates this increasingly important work.
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