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Selden paused in surprise. In the afternoon rush of the Grand Central Station his eyes had been refreshed by the sight of Miss Lily Bart. --Ce texte fait référence à une édition épuisée ou non disponible de ce titre.

Biographie de l'auteur

Edith Wharton was born Edith Newbold Jones on January 24, 1862 in New York City, one of three children. The phrase “Keeping up with the Joneses,” refers to her father’s family. They were friends with Theodore Roosevelt. In 1885, Edith married Edward Robbins Wharton, a wealthy Boston man, twelve years older, who shared her love of travel. In 1888, however, he began to suffer from worsening depression and they were forced to stop traveling. In 1908, she began an affair with Morton Fullerton and divorced her husband in 1913. During her writing career, which lasted from 1878 to 1937, she wrote two dozen novels, a dozen non-fiction works and 85 short stories. In 1923, Wharton received an honorary doctorate from Yale University and in 1921, became the first woman to win the Pulitzer Prize for literature for her novel, “The Age of Innocence.” Wharton died on August 11, 1937, from a stroke, at the age of 75, in Saint-Brice-sous-Foret, France. She is buried in the American Cemetery in Versailles, France. --Ce texte fait référence à l'édition Broché .

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Commentaires client les plus utiles sur (beta) HASH(0x989c1c60) étoiles sur 5 440 commentaires
179 internautes sur 189 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
HASH(0x9891e8e8) étoiles sur 5 MY FRIEND LILY BART 30 novembre 2000
Par Charles Slovenski - Publié sur
Format: Poche
I stumbled upon a review of the recent film of THE HOUSE OF MIRTH in the TLS and, in order to have the novel firmly fixed in my mind (that is, before the lush, seductive images of film forever eradicated Wharton's novel from me) I dragged my copy off the shelf for a re-read. It had been 16 years since I last read of Lily Bart and her life, and I didn't realize how much I had missed her. For me, this is one of the great reading experiences, one of a handful that make reading a book the deeply moving and human exchange that it is. Despite the distance of wealth, property, time and manners, Wharton manages to make Lily's world and life palpable to anyone who will listen. The clash of money, morals, personality and circumstance is infinitely developed and played out in front of a never fading natural world. Once again, I was deeply moved by Lily Bart and at the end, felt I had lost someone myself.
142 internautes sur 153 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
HASH(0x9891e93c) étoiles sur 5 A Brilliant Novel Of A Brittle Society And A Tragic Heroine. 27 juin 2003
Par Jana L.Perskie - Publié sur
Format: Poche Achat vérifié
Edith Wharton's "The House Of Mirth" is a sad, but brilliant commentary on the closed, repressive society of the rich, upper class, New York nobility, at the dawn of the 20th century. It is also the story of the downfall of one woman, who attempts to live by her own rules, with no sponsor and no money of her own. Her parents are dead and she lives with relatives.
Lily Bart is one of society's most eligible women, at the height of her powers, when the novel opens. Though she has little money, she has family connections, good breeding and the hope of coming into an inheritance. Beautiful and very charming, Lily has been brought up to be an ornament, as were most women of her class at that time. She is a gilded bird with a noble heart, but clearly she is not aware of the restrictions of her cage. Part of Lily's tragedy is that she does have character, spirit, and a conscience. However, she does not know how to align these attributes, with her ornamental avocation, and her ambitions to marry a wealthy man of good birth.
As expected, Lily is popular with both bachelors and married men. Most of the bachelors propose marriage at on time or another. The only man she has real affection for is her dear friend, Lawrence Seldon, a barrister, whose lack of income makes him entirely unsuitable as a husband. Lily had developed a gambling habit to support her lifestyle, and supplement her allowance. An unfortunate losing streak has put her into debt. In her naivete, she forms an unsavory business alliance with a married man. Later, she is unjustly accused of having an affair with him and their business arrangement also come to light.
Her family cuts her off without a penny. Society friends and connections reject their former darling, trying to extricate themselves from any repercussions Lily's indiscreet behavior may have on their reputations. Former friends turn vicious. The irony is that Lily has never committed any of the sins she is accused of. Several of her friends have, and frequently...but their sins are committed with the utmost discretion. Lily's crime is indiscretion. Her beaus disappear, as do her marriage prospects. The hypocrisy of her class becomes more apparent to her, as she searches for a means to survive, with all the familiar doors closed in her face.
Lily seeks employment as a seamstress in the New York City slums, and lives there also, in a humble room with no refinements. Having no formal training and no real ambition, (her ambivalence about work is obvious), she sinks into deep depression and begins to decline. Laudanum helps her to sleep, and she becomes dependent on the drug.
Lily's descent, from society's beautiful darling to a disheveled, desperate woman living in a shabby hotel room, addicted to drugs, is disturbing reading, to say the least. Her decline seems inevitable, especially after we read of her many poor and self-destructive decisions. She seems to sabotage herself. However, Lily Bart is ultimately the victim of a cruel society that sacrifices anyone who does not conform to its expectations.
After reading "House Of Mirth," for the first time several years ago, Lily's character has remained clear in my mind. I think of her from time to time with great poignance and a sense of personal loss.
48 internautes sur 50 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
HASH(0x9891ec18) étoiles sur 5 "A handsome girl who flirted with a married man was merely assumed to be pressing...her opportunities." 5 mai 2006
Par Mary Whipple - Publié sur
Format: Broché
Published in 1905, The House of Mirth offers a blistering social commentary on the lifestyles and behavior of super-rich society. Having grown up in this society, Wharton evaluates it here as an insider, and her trenchant observations give this early novel a liveliness and verisimilitude not characteristic of "aristocratic" novels written by outsiders. Set at a time in which the old, moneyed aristocracy was being forced to admit newcomers who had made their recent fortunes through industry, the novel shows moneyed society in flux, the old guard ensuring their exclusivity against parvenus who are not the "right type," at the same time that their sons and daughters were often securing large fortunes through marriage into some of these new families.

Lily Bart, a beautiful young woman of good family whose father lost everything when she was only nineteen, is left dependent on wealthy relatives in this society until she can charm a financially secure suitor into marriage. At age twenty-nine, she is no longer a debutante, and the pressure is mounting for her to marry, though she lacks the unlimited financial resources of social rivals. Still, her wit and charm make her a delightful companion, and she is never at a loss for suitors. Intelligent enough to want a real marriage and not just a merger between families, she has resisted making a commitment to date, though the clock is ticking.

As Lily tries to negotiate a good marriage and future for herself, she is aware that the competition is fierce. Women "friends" pounce on the latest gossip and spread rumors to discredit rivals, and Lily's reputation is tainted with hints of impropriety. Her opportunities for a good marriage begin to dwindle, and when her aunt, Mrs. Peniston, dies and leaves her a bequest that covers only her debts, Lily is no longer able to compete in the society so attractive to her and begins her downward spiral.

Wharton creates a complete picture of turn-of-the-century New York society and its "important" people--their lack of scruples, their opportunism, their manipulations, and their smug self-importance, characteristics one may also see in Lily when she is part of this society, though there is a limit on how far she will stoop. But Wharton also shows how quickly a woman may become an outcast when the money runs out and she is thrown on her own resources without any training for any other kind of life. A well-developed melodrama filled with revealing details, this novel established Wharton's reputation as a novelist/commentator on the manners and morals of high society and those who would participate in it. n Mary Whipple
35 internautes sur 36 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
HASH(0x98e3515c) étoiles sur 5 You won't like it if you don't understand the message 9 août 2001
Par Un client - Publié sur
Format: Broché
I have read this book many times and it is still one of my favorites. I read the reviews, of which some people have no "pity" for Lily - she doesn't want it! While Lily has many chances to take care of herself financially, she is unwilling to let go of her moral character. Quite a position for one who requires (or so she believes) the approval and financial support of society! Obviously those who pan this book as "that was the way it was then" are not old enough to realize that to some degree, that is the way it is now. You are still judged socially by your occupation, home, financial wealth, etc. Lily is a wonderful heroine. Although you want to talk to her and explain to her the other choices, knowing Lily as you come to, you understand her choice. Very wonderful book. I will not see the movie, because I have my own mental images of Lily, Selden and the gang, which I do not want disturbed.
23 internautes sur 25 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
HASH(0x9891ee7c) étoiles sur 5 An American Classic 21 novembre 2002
Par Adam Shah - Publié sur
Format: Poche
High school students are often assigned Ethan Frome, and the Age of Innocence gained many readers because of the movie, but this is the Edith Wharton book that everyone should read. In many ways, this is similar to a Jane Austen book in which a member of the upper echelon of society has money problems and needs to marry well in order to stay at the same level of society. Forces and other people are contriving against her, but there seems to be at least one man who would be a good match for reasons of love. The first twist here is that the good match is not financially well off and therefore won't be able to support the heroine as she wants to be supported.
Lily Bart was orphaned many years ago, and her family had been financially ruined before that. However, she is accustomed to beautiful things and wants to continue to live at the top level of society. Unfortunately, her heart and soul long for more than these creature comforts. She yearns for excitement, intellectual and emotional honesty and probably true love, although she is confused about that. As she has gotten towards her late 20s, her prospects are dwindling and the only person who has the resources to support her and is already a part of polite society is Percy Gryce, a singularly boring man.
Lily rebels against Gryce just as she is about to marry him when she has a couple of heartfelt conversations with Lawrence Selden, a person she decides she might love, but who makes clear that he is not rich enough to support her as well as she should be supported.
Her choices other than Gryce are slim. There is Simon Rosedale, who is portrayed as an upwardly mobile person and therefore undesirable. He is also Jewish, which Wharton never overtly says is a problem with him for Lily, but probably figures into Lily's calculus (Wharton mainly talks about his Jewishness in the context of saying that Rosedale is more patient and able to face disappointment than others in his position because of what his people have dealt with over the centuries).
I have to admit that, unlike Ethan Frome and The Age of Innocence, it took me a while to get into this book. Perhaps, I picked up this book to read a story of Old New York and manners and was not ready for such an intense character study. But once I got to page 100, the last 250 pages went by in a flash. It is beautiful and eminently interesting. You will be interested in every twist in the story.
A couple of words of caution. If you buy this edition with the Anna Quindlen introduction, DON'T READ THE INTRODUCTION FIRST. It gives away too much in the first page--when I stopped reading it until after I finished--and the rest of the introduction gives away the rest of the plot. Finally, as with Jane Austen books, the actions of the male characters are often either inscrutable or irrational. It may be that men actually acted like this in the early 20th Century (or 19th for Austen). But I think it more likely that Wharton is misconstruing the male characters in ways that male authors almost always do with female characters. But this is a minor flaw, especially since Lily is so central to this book.
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