The House of Mirth
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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But now his love was her only hope, and as she sat alone with her wretchedness, the thought of confiding in him became as seductive as the river's flow to the suicide. The first plunge would be terrible, but afterward, what blessedness might come! ...Oh, if he really understood; if he would help her to gather up her broken life and put it together in some new semblance in which no trace of the past should remain!
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