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Look Inside | Reading Guide
May 30, 2006
| ISBN 9780143039709
May 30, 2006
| ISBN 9781440649387
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May 30, 2006 | ISBN 9780143039709
May 30, 2006 | ISBN 9781440649387
Considered by many to be her masterpiece, Edith Wharton’s second full-length work is a scathing yet personal examination of the exploits and follies of the modern upper class. As she unfolds the story of Undine Spragg, from New York to Europe, Wharton affords us a detailed glimpse of what might be called the interior décor of this America and its nouveau riche fringes. Through a heroine who is as vain, spoiled, and selfish as she is irresistibly fascinating, and through a most intricate and satisfying plot that follows Undine’s marriages and affairs, she conveys a vision of social behavior that is both supremely informed and supremely disenchanted. This edition features a new introduction and explanatory notes and reset text.For more than seventy years, Penguin has been the leading publisher of classic literature in the English-speaking world. With more than 1,700 titles, Penguin Classics represents a global bookshelf of the best works throughout history and across genres and disciplines. Readers trust the series to provide authoritative texts enhanced by introductions and notes by distinguished scholars and contemporary authors, as well as up-to-date translations by award-winning translators.
The classic satire of New York society and the American Dream through the misadventures of an insatiable young striver—with an introduction by Jia Tolentino, author of Trick Mirror Ambitious and wholeheartedly materialistic, Undine Spragg is a beautiful heiress who sees men as a means to an end. New York millionaires and French aristocrats fall at her feet, but each conquest is merely a stepping-stone in Undine’s quest for power and position—and in her elusive search for happiness. A biting satire from one of America’s greatest writers, The Custom of the Country features a compelling and ruthless heroine, a sharp-eyed critique of the marriage market and its objectification of women, and a knowing send-up of Gilded Age snobbery. The Modern Library Torchbearers series features women who wrote on their own terms, with boldness, creativity, and a spirit of resistance: AMERICAN INDIAN STORIES • THE AWAKENING • THE CUSTOM OF THE COUNTRY • THE HEADS OF CERBERUS • LADY AUDLEY’S SECRET • LOVE, ANGER, MADNESS • PASSING • THE TRANSFORMATION OF PHILIP JETTAN • VILLETTE
The upper stratum of New York society into which Edith Wharton was born in 1862 provided her with an abundance of material as a novelist but did not encourage her growth as an artist. Educated by tutors and governesses, she… More about Edith Wharton
"Edith Wharton’s finest achievement."–Elizabeth Hardwick
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