Three Novels of New York: The House of Mirth, The Custom of the Country, The Age of Innocence(Classics Deluxe Edition)

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Overview

For the 150th anniversary of Edith Wharton's birth: her three greatest novels in a couture-inspired deluxe edition featuring a new introduction by Jonathan Franzen.

Born into a distinguished New York family, Edith Wharton chronicled the lives of the wealthy, the well born, and the nouveau riches in fiction that often hinges on the collision of personal passion and social convention. This volume brings together her best-loved novels, all set in ...

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Three Novels of New York: The House of Mirth, The Custom of the Country, The Age of Innocence(Classics Deluxe Edition)

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Overview

For the 150th anniversary of Edith Wharton's birth: her three greatest novels in a couture-inspired deluxe edition featuring a new introduction by Jonathan Franzen.

Born into a distinguished New York family, Edith Wharton chronicled the lives of the wealthy, the well born, and the nouveau riches in fiction that often hinges on the collision of personal passion and social convention. This volume brings together her best-loved novels, all set in New York.

The House of Mirth is the story of Lily Bart, who needs a rich husband but refuses to marry without both love and money. The Custom of the Country follows the marriages and affairs of Undine Spragg, who is as vain, spoiled, and selfish as she is irresistibly fascinating. The Pulitzer Prize-winning The Age of Innocence concerns the passionate bond that develops between the newly engaged Newland Archer and his finacée's cousin, the Countess Olenska, new to New York and newly divorced.

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Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble

Edith Wharton (1862-1937), Jonathan Franzen's introduction reminds us, was born 150 years ago; to modern readers, a fact less apparent from her writing style than from her choice of turn-of-the-century New York society subjects. This attractive paperback edition collects three worthy Wharton novels, all set in her favorite Gotham settings: The House of Mirth (1905), the unjustly neglected The Custom of the Country (1913), and Pulitzer Prize-winning The Age of Experience (1920). In addition to Franzen's intro, this version also features Richard Gray's tactfully mannered illustrations.

Tim Flannigan

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780143106555
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA)
  • Publication date: 2/29/2012
  • Series: Penguin Classics Deluxe Edition Series
  • Edition number: 150
  • Pages: 784
  • Sales rank: 243,947
  • Product dimensions: 5.70 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 2.20 (d)

Meet the Author

Edith Wharton (1862-1937) is the first woman to win the Pultizer Prize. She wrote more than forty books, among them Ethan Frome and Summer.
Jonathan Franzen is the author of the novels Freedom and The Corrections, which won the National Book Award.
Richard Gray is a fashion illustrator who has worked with Alexander McQueen, De Beers, and Givenchey.

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

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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Posted April 22, 2013

    This is a wonderful set of novels. Though the novels deal with s

    This is a wonderful set of novels. Though the novels deal with similar themes and communities, I don't feel they are redundant.
    Edith Wharton writes the most accurate observations of human behavior I've ever read and her characters are vividly
    realistic as a result. She gives her female characters a great deal more complexity than most writers. 
    She also just uses language beautifully, especially in metaphor. The Custom of the Country is a lessor known work but holds up well against the other two.  

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 8, 2012

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    0 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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