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Most Cordially Welcome

20 Apr

THOMA Classic Case of Madness invites you to read along with us for our next classic work:
The House of Mirth by Edith Wharton.

Gentleman novelist Louis Auchincloss said The House of Mirth was “uniquely authentic among American novels of manners.”

What is Wharton’s book about exactly?  Fashionable New York society.

Here’s a quote from the back of my Signet Classic edition:

Its heroine, Lily Bart, the poor relation of a wealthy woman, is beautiful, intelligent, and hopelessly addicted to the pleasures of a moneyed world of luxury and grace.  But, ironically, her delicacy of taste and moral sensibility–qualities representing the ideal goals of that world–render her unfit for survival in it.

Whew.  For a minute I thought we were going to have Madame Bovary all over again.  I’m glad to hear that Lily Bart has moral sensibilities.

New York Socialites are not enough of a reason to read along with us?
How about the fact that Edith Wharton grew up amidst those socialites and know what she’s talking about?
How about the fact that after eight male authors in a row, we have a female one?!

I will close my invitation with a last quote from the Signet Classic.
The House of Mirth is “a brilliant portrayal of both human frailty and nobility, and a bitter attack on false social values.”

We would love to have you join us.

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The details…

SWB recommends this Signet Classic reprint edition..  I notice that the Kindle version is free.  SWB’s notes in the WEM book also say to skip Anna Quindlen’s introduction.  As faithful WEM students, we know to skip all introductions that are not written by the author herself.  Who wants hints to character motivation before even starting the book?  Not us certainly!  We may not be socialites, but we are rule followers.

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5 Comments

Posted by on April 20, 2013 in The House of Mirth

 

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5 responses to “Most Cordially Welcome

  1. Norma carey

    April 20, 2013 at 10:09 am

    You know I will join BUT have there been any classics written about a man looking for love in all the wrong places?

     
  2. Christine

    April 21, 2013 at 11:33 am

    Hmmm… I wonder about The Great Gatsby. Does that one count?

     
  3. Norma carey

    April 21, 2013 at 7:02 pm

    AAH – a possibility! Looks like I will be reading HOM while I babysit the garage sale items up at church. At least I was able to read a couple of novels in between. I did read Binchy’s last book, A Week in Winter – what a carefree delight!

     
  4. Patty Sessions

    April 22, 2013 at 1:06 am

    I’m in! Hm, my list for this year says “The Custom of the Country” and not “The House of Mirth.” Not that I know anything about either of them–maybe I’ll just switch them?

     
    • Christine

      April 22, 2013 at 7:45 pm

      Sorry, I’m not any help. The only Edith Wharton book that I’ve ever read was Ethan Frome… and that was many, many years ago.
      I say, “Yes! Switch!”

       

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