The House of Mirth

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Synopsis

Single woman of 29, Lily Bart is Edith Wharton's quintessential trapped heroine.

Orphaned following the death of her parents, Lily understands that she must use her beauty, grace, and charm to attain the social position she longs for, but she is caught between her desire for wealth and a strong moral conscience, which sabotages every opportunity she encounters.

Lily's employment as a maid finds her visiting the houses of New York's upper echelons, where she is invited to live lavishly and party with her patrons until the early hours. She meets many eligible bachelors and rich men; however, she is captivated by Laurence Seldon, a struggling attorney who sees through the glossy superficiality of upper society. She cannot bring herself to marry a man of working class, nor a millionaire whom she does not love. Thus begins her downward spiral into penury.

Chapters

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