Tag Archives: novel of manners

Bookends About The House of Mirth

Warning: this review does include some general spoilers.

Title: The House of Mirth
Source: library
Read for: Erin Read’s Reading Buddies
Rating: ★★☆☆☆
Review Summary: An interesting story with intriguing characters, but the almost happy ending made me like it a lot less.

The House of Mirth is a “novel of manners” or a novel which focuses on social customs, often the customs surrounding marriage (think Jane Austen, for example).    This particular novel focuses on high society in New York during the early 1900’s, a setting very familiar to the author, and was intended to highlight what she saw as the complete lack of anything worthwhile in that society.  However, as the forward to my version pointed out, what still draws people to this book today is mostly the character of Lily Bart.  Throughout the book we follow Lily’s attempts to marry for money, culminating in her fall from society when she is accused of being a man’s mistress.
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