The Custom of the Country

The Custom of the Country

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by Edith Wharton, United Holdings Group
     
 

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The Custom of the Country was written by Edith Wharton and first published in 1913. Wharton's satiric anatomy of American society in the first decade of the twentieth century appeared in 1913, it both appalled and fascinated its first reviewers, and established her as a major novelist. The Saturday Review wrote that she had 'assembled as many detestable people as it

Overview

The Custom of the Country was written by Edith Wharton and first published in 1913. Wharton's satiric anatomy of American society in the first decade of the twentieth century appeared in 1913, it both appalled and fascinated its first reviewers, and established her as a major novelist. The Saturday Review wrote that she had 'assembled as many detestable people as it is possible to pack between the covers of a six-hundred page novel', but concluded that the book was 'brilliantly written', and 'should be read as a parable'. It follows the career of Undine Spragg, recently arrived in New York from the midwest and determined to conquer high society. Glamorous, selfish, mercenary and manipulative, her principal assets are her striking beauty, her tenacity, and her father's money. With her sights set on an advantageous marriage, Undine pursues her schemes in a world of shifting values, where triumph is swiftly followed by dissullusion. Wharton was recreating an environment she knew intimately, and Undine's education for social success is chronicled in meticulous detail. The novel superbly captures the world of post-Civil War America, as ruthless in its social ambitions as in its business and politics.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
2940013244696
Publisher:
United Holdings Group
Publication date:
10/07/2011
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
File size:
462 KB

Related Subjects

Meet the Author

Born into a prosperous New York family, Edith Wharton (1862-1937) wrote more than 15 novels, including The Age of Innocence, The House of Mirth, Ethan Frome, and other esteemed books. She was distinguished for her work in the First World War and was the first woman to receive a Doctorate of Letters from Yale University. She died in France at the age of 75.

Brief Biography

Date of Birth:
January 24, 1862
Date of Death:
August 11, 1937
Place of Birth:
New York, New York
Place of Death:
Saint-Brice-sous-Forêt, France
Education:
Educated privately in New York and Europe

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The Custom Of The Country 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 16 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
It's interesting to read how ruthless and unscrupulous people can be for their own self-preservation. Undine is a character I loved to hate. This novel could be a social commentary of life today. Fabulous vocabulary! It is a slow read, but worth it!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I was a literature major in college a long time ago: I'd never heard mention of this novel. She is such a fine author and this is my favorite of all! If you like her work, if you like American literature, you won't be disappointed.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Timeless wisdom about women's issues in the society of consumerism as we see as the American Dream.
Eowyn24 More than 1 year ago
Undine reminds me in a way of Scarlet O'Hara. The author lived at the same time period she placed the story and was divorced as well as the main character - so you have to wonder if this is an insight to how divorce was thought of in the different social groups as the time. Had some slow parts, but was a good read.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I love Edith Wharton books, but this is my favorite by far. The characters are well developed and the story is spell binding if you like that era.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
But a pretty good soap opera. The protagonist, Undine, can be a bit tiresome, but Wharton's handling of her life is pretty clever, especially at the end! I had never heard of this book before reading about it in a recent issue of the New Yorker. That writer said that it was very relevant to the Wall Street shenanigans, consumerism, and divorce in today's society. This claim is largely true, and the book is interesting in that regard.
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