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Beautiful, sophisticated and endlessly ambitious Lily Bart endeavours to climb the social ladder of New York's elite by securing a good match and living beyond her means.
Now nearing 30 years of age and having rejected several proposals, forever in the hope of finding someone better, her future prospects are threatened.
A damning commentary of 20th-century social order, Edith Wharton's tale established her as one of the greatest British novelists of the 1900s. Taking us on a journey through lavish drawing rooms in grand country houses to cold and menacing boarding houses, Wharton addresses the consequences awaiting those who openly dared to challenge the status quo.
First published in serial form, The House of Mirth contributed significantly to Edith Wharton's already substantial riches. Accustomed to living a life of privilege, Wharton was able to foster her creative talents from a young age.
Working as a published author from the age of 18, Wharton's story is as intriguing and daring as her heroine's. Wedding and then divorcing Edward Wharton, her experience of marriage and consequent heartbreak is usually chronicled in her works.
Never the victim however, Wharton went on to receive multiple awards for her writing, as well as the bravery that she demonstrated during the First World War when she organised hostels for refugees, fund-raised for those in need and reported from battlefield frontlines.
Usually seen in the company of other great authors including Jack London, F. Scott Fitzgerald and Jean Cocteau, Wharton became a literary master whose skill and wit is perfectly captured in this enthralling audiobook.
Celebrated author and stage, film and television actress, Eleanor Bron, lends her iconic voice to the narration of The House of Mirth.
Best known for her roles in films such as A Little Princess, Bedazzled, Women in Love, Black Beauty and Alfie, Eleanor's career is as varied as it has been successful.
Also not a stranger to the theatre, Bron thrived in classical and modern productions of plays including The Prime of Miss Jean Brody, The Merchant of Venice, Private Lives, All About My Mother and Hedda Gabler.
A celebrated writer, Eleanor has published various titles, including Life and Other Punctures, Double Take and The Pillow Book of Eleanor Bron.
Further audiobook contributions include A Little Princess by Frances Burnett, The Aeneid by Virgil, The Parasites by Daphne du Maurier and Daniel Deronda by George Eliot.
Customer ReviewsMost Helpful
By Emrys on 08-19-12
Like Henry James but more accessible
The novel portrays the New York upper middle class society in the late 19th century. Wharton writes elegantly, and is an acute psychologist and observer of manners. She's also very witty at times--with what you might call a stiletto wit. The reading is excellent, with subtle difference of voice and accent nicely calibrated to the character speaking.
I thoroughly enjoyed listening to the book. But it made me wonder why writers like Wharton and Henry James devote themselves to writing about people who don't do anything--a class of idlers, in fact, who are terrified that they might have to work for a living. Perhaps they think that this idleness produces greater subjective sensitivity and depth. But I think their long descriptions and analyses of people's inner depths are rather more refined and sophisticated than is justified by reality. OccasionalIy found myself saying: Bring on a pirate! Let's have a murder! Or at least have someone kicked by a horse.
7 of 8 people found this review helpful
Customer ReviewsMost Helpful
By Valerie Harris on 12-19-08
The House of Mirth by Edith Wharton
A beautifully written novel, expertly read by Eleanor Bron. It tells the story of 29 year old Lily Bart, a dazzling socialite in 1890's New York. The big problem for Lily is money, the fact that she has none and the life style she desires needs plenty.The novel follows her fall into poverty and the response of her friends and acquaintances. A fascinating look at late 19 Century American society
A delight to listen to.
7 of 7 people found this review helpful
By Philip on 06-26-13
The worst of this was that the 'blurb' on Audible gives away the plot- I knew how Lily ended up before Eleanor Bron even opened her mouth.
Apart from that it was absolutely superb- as one expects from this publisher.
6 of 6 people found this review helpful