Free and Discounted Ebooks
Join 150,000 readers! Get our ebook deals straight to your inbox.

The House of Mirth

Cover image for


Author: Edith Wharton
Published: 1905
Language: English
Wordcount: 128,871 / 363 pg
Flesch-Kincaid Reading Ease: 81.6
LoC Category: PS
Downloads: 10,609 7380

One of the first novels of manners to emerge in American literature, and also one of Wharton's best-known works, The House of Mirth centers on Lily Bart, a New York socialite attempting to secure a husband and a place in affluent society.

Show Excerpt

I should fancy so--except to the historian. But your real collector values a thing for its rarity. I don't suppose the buyers of Americana sit up reading them all night--old Jefferson Gryce certainly didn't."

She was listening with keen attention. "And yet they fetch fabulous prices, don't they? It seems so odd to want to pay a lot for an ugly badly-printed book that one is never going to read! And I suppose most of the owners of Americana are not historians either?"

"No; very few of the historians can afford to buy them. They have to use those in the public libraries or in private collections. It seems to be the mere rarity that attracts the average collector."

He had seated himself on an arm of the chair near which she was standing, and she continued to question him, asking which were the rarest volumes, whether the Jefferson Gryce collection was really considered the finest in the world, and what was the largest price ever fetched by a single volume.

It was so pleasant to sit th

Reader Reviews

Average Rating of 3.7 from 3 reviews: ****

After reading the book I felt that Lily Bart's life was quite tragical. The story begins so promisingly for her and with her beauty and charm, there is nothing to indicate to the reader the turn that her story will take. Edith Wharton has ably captured the lifestyle and temperament of that particular section of affluent American society in the early 20th century.This is a book definitely worth reading.


Readers looking for a book where they can closely identify with a sympathetic hero and heroine and look forward to a romantically happy ending will be disappointed. Those interested in a survey of social mores in East Coast American 'high society' at the beginning of the twentieth century are more likely to be wryly entertained.





Join 150,000+ fellow readers! Get Free eBooks and book bargains from ManyBooks in your inbox. 

We respect your email privacy

login | register

User ID


reset password

Author of the Day

Andrew Updegrove
When Andrew Updegrove isn't writing or predicting the next cyber-disaster, he's likely to be roaming the back country of the American southwest in his Jeep, scouting out settings for his next book. More than thirty years of experience as an attorney representing technology companies also serves as a great source of inspiration. As our Author of the Day, Updegrove chats about his journey as an author, reveals how some of the scenarios described in his books actually came true and talks about cybersecurity and how vulnerable we are.
Read full interview...