The House of Mirth

  • by Edith Wharton
  • Narrated by Eleanor Bron
  • 12 hrs and 40 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

First published in 1905, the House of Mirth shocked many by its candour. Lily Bart moves in the shallow, new-moneyed class of New York society in which men make the money and women spend it. There amongst the glib diversions of the newly rich, she seeks a husband who can not only maintain her in this charmed existence, but can also provide unstinting admiration. Scandal, however, intervenes. Accused of being the mistress of a wealthy married man, Lily must withdraw from society. She becomes a milliner, but finds life outside the hothouse unendurable.


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful


I've listened to this book twice and will listen again after a while. I'd be happy to hear Eleanor Bron read the dictionary aloud: to hear her read Edith Wharton is pure bliss.
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- Catherine "Avid reader, picky about narrators."

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.
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- Emrys

Book Details

  • Release Date: 08-05-2008
  • Publisher: Audible Studios