The Buccaneers

( 6 )

Overview

Set in the 1870s, the same period as Wharton's The Age of Innocence, The Buccaneers is about five wealthy American girls denied entry into New York Society because their parents' money is too new. At the suggestion of their clever governess, the girls sail to London, where they marry lords, earls, and dukes who find their beauty charming—and their wealth extremely useful.

After Wharton's death in 1937, The Christian Science Monitor said, "If it could have been completed, The ...

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The Buccaneers

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Overview

Set in the 1870s, the same period as Wharton's The Age of Innocence, The Buccaneers is about five wealthy American girls denied entry into New York Society because their parents' money is too new. At the suggestion of their clever governess, the girls sail to London, where they marry lords, earls, and dukes who find their beauty charming—and their wealth extremely useful.

After Wharton's death in 1937, The Christian Science Monitor said, "If it could have been completed, The Buccaneers would doubtless stand among the richest and most sophisticated of Wharton's novels." Now, with wit and imagination, Marion Mainwaring has finished the story, taking her cue from Wharton's own synopsis. It is a novel any Wharton fan will celebrate and any romantic reader will love. This is the richly engaging story of Nan St. George and guy Thwarte, an American heiress and an English aristocrat, whose love breaks the rules of both their societies.

Finally finished by writer Marion Mainwaring, Edith Wharton's timeless story is as riveting today as any written in her own time. Set in the 1870s, The Buccaneers is about five wealthy American girls whose money is too "new" to get them into society.

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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
Wharton's final novel (completed by Marion Mainwaring after the author's death in 1937) revolves around American and British society in the 1870s. Told in large part through the eyes of American debutantes, the story portrays innocent, wide-eyed, almost ethereal girls who turn into socially conscious women with financial worries--unrecognizable even to themselves. The beginning sections quickly catch the listener's attention, with lush descriptions of rooms, clothes, and the heights of feminine beauty. We enter a world of intrigue: secrets, characters with past relationships that could prove fatal, and competition taken to its limits. Its literary value notwithstanding, this book might appeal to soap opera and romance fans. For more attentive listeners, it quickly becomes disconcerting as more and more characters with awkward British-sounding names are added. It's increasingly difficult to recall who's who without backing up the tape. Most libraries can pass on this one.-- Rochelle Ratner, formerly Poetry Editor, ``Soho Weekly News,'' New York
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780140232028
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA) Incorporated
  • Publication date: 10/28/1994
  • Series: Penguin Great Books of the 20th Century Series
  • Edition description: Revised Edition (1993)
  • Pages: 416
  • Sales rank: 254,107
  • Product dimensions: 5.12 (w) x 7.84 (h) x 0.74 (d)

Meet the Author

Edith Wharton
One of America's most important novelists, Edith Wharton was a refined, relentless chronicler of the Gilded Age and its social mores. Along with close friend Henry James, she helped define literature at the turn of the 20th century, even as she wrote classic nonfiction on travel, decorating and her own life.

Biography

Edith Newbold Jones was born January 24, 1862, into such wealth and privilege that her family inspired the phrase "keeping up with the Joneses." The youngest of three children, Edith spent her early years touring Europe with her parents and, upon the family's return to the United States, enjoyed a privileged childhood in New York and Newport, Rhode Island. Edith's creativity and talent soon became obvious: By the age of eighteen she had written a novella, (as well as witty reviews of it) and published poetry in the Atlantic Monthly.

After a failed engagement, Edith married a wealthy sportsman, Edward Wharton. Despite similar backgrounds and a shared taste for travel, the marriage was not a success. Many of Wharton's novels chronicle unhappy marriages, in which the demands of love and vocation often conflict with the expectations of society. Wharton's first major novel, The House of Mirth, published in 1905, enjoyed considerable Literary Success. Ethan Frome appeared six years later, solidifying Wharton's reputation as an important novelist. Often in the company of her close friend, Henry James, Wharton mingled with some of the most famous writers and artists of the day, including F. Scott Fitzgerald, André Gide, Sinclair Lewis, Jean Cocteau, and Jack London.

In 1913 Edith divorced Edward. She lived mostly in France for the remainder of her life. When World War I broke out, she organized hostels for refugees, worked as a fund-raiser, and wrote for American publications from battlefield frontlines. She was awarded the French Legion of Honor for her courage and distinguished work.

The Age of Innocence, a novel about New York in the 1870s, earned Wharton the Pulitzer Prize for fiction in 1921 -- the first time the award had been bestowed upon a woman. Wharton traveled throughout Europe to encourage young authors. She also continued to write, lying in her bed every morning, as she had always done, dropping each newly penned page on the floor to be collected and arranged when she was finished. Wharton suffered a stroke and died on August 11, 1937. She is buried in the American Cemetery in Versailles, France.

Author biography from the Barnes & Noble Classics edition of The Age of Innocence.

Good To Know

Upon the publication of The House of Mirth in 1905, Wharton became an instant celebrity, and the the book was an instant bestseller, with 80,000 copies ordered from Scribner's six weeks after its release.

Wharton had a great fondness for dogs, and owned several throughout her life.

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    1. Also Known As:
      Edith Newbold Jones Wharton (full name)
    1. Date of Birth:
      January 24, 1862
    2. Place of Birth:
      New York, New York
    1. Date of Death:
      August 11, 1937
    2. Place of Death:
      Saint-Brice-sous-Forêt, France

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 6 )
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Sort by: Showing 1 – 13 of 11 Customer Reviews
  • Posted February 20, 2010

    Edith who?

    I began reading a familiar-feeling (if also unfinished-feeling) Edith Wharton novel: then, about three-quarters of the way through, I was suddenly thrust into a mere bodice-ripper. Had Ms. Mainwaring ever even read a Wharton novel before setting about to "complete" this one? Edith wasn't exactly the Queen of the Happy Endings. Her characters find their passions in painful conflict with their conventions and their passions generally lose. The conventions in this particular case happened to be quite overwhelming, and yet they slunk away with barely a whimper. And don't even get me started about Mainwaring's melodramatic prose. This "completion" lacks the dignity, intelligence, depth and compassion of Wharton's work - and even its theme.

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 11, 2007

    good book!

    This is a very interesting and intriguing book. The BBC movie version of it is also a great adaptation. It really takes a look at the freedom and personal issues and struggles of women living in America and England.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 9, 2000

    A wonderful tale of love, independance,and society

    This book is wonderfully written. It explores the world of the aristocracy and the lives of five very independant young women at the turn of the century.

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    Posted October 27, 2011

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