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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.
(I'm not a literary expert.)
I loved this book, and the reading, for its almost meditative qualities. I've never read a novel that delved so deeply into the details and complexities of every human thought for every action and possible action and reaction. It was like a philosophical meditation on the meanings of life, love, human relationships, and money. It is not light-hearted.