By Edith Wharton
(Book Jacket prestige: Jacketed)Introduction by way of Pamela KnightsIn the home of Mirth, Edith Wharton depicts the glittering salons of Gilded Age manhattan with precision and wit, while she movingly portrays the stumbling blocks that impeded women's offerings on the flip of the century.The attractive, much-desired Lily Bart has been raised to be one of many ideal better halves of the rich higher category, yet her spark of personality and self sustaining force prevents her from turning into one of many many girls who will reach these circles. even though her hope for a comfy existence signifies that she can't marry for romance with no cash, her resistance to the foundations of the social elite endangers her many marriage proposals. As Lily spirals down into debt and dishonor, her tale takes at the resonance of vintage tragedy. one among Wharton's so much bracing and nuanced images of the lifetime of ladies in a adversarial, hugely ordered international, the home of Mirth exposes the truths approximately American excessive society that its denizens so much needed to disclaim.
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That walk she did not mean to miss; one glance at the bills on her writing-table was enough to recall its necessity. But meanwhile she had the morning to herself, and could muse pleasantly on the disposal of its hours. She was familiar enough with the habits of Bellomont to know that she was likely to have a free field till luncheon. She had seen the Wetheralls, the Trenor girls and Lady Cressida packed safely into the omnibus; Judy Trenor was sure to be having her hair shampooed; Carry Fisher had doubtless carried off her host for a drive; Ned Silverton was probably smoking the cigarette of young despair in his bedroom; and Kate Corby was certain to be playing tennis with Jack Stepney and Miss Van Osburgh.
Dorset tartly. " "Yes, I had," said Lily confidingly. "Really? Perhaps I am in the way, then? But Mr. " Mrs. Dorset was pale with temper, and her antagonist felt a certain pleasure in prolonging her distress. "Oh, dear, no—do stay," she said good-humouredly. " "You're awfully good, dear, but I never interfere with Mr. " The remark was uttered with a little air of proprietorship not lost on its object, who concealed a faint blush of annoyance by stooping to pick up the book he had dropped at Lily's approach.
Gryce was new to such manifestations; he wondered rather nervously if she were delicate, having far-reaching fears about the future of his progeny. But sympathy won the day, and he besought her not to expose herself: he always connected the outer air with ideas of exposure. Lily had received his sympathy with languid gratitude, urging him, since she should be such poor company, to join the rest of the party who, after luncheon, were starting in automobiles on a visit to the Van Osburghs at Peekskill.