The House of Mirth

Edith Wharton

Anna Fields (Narrator)

03-01-01

13hrs 45min

Abridgement

Unabridged

Genre

Fiction/Classics

As low as $0.00
Play Audio Sample

03-01-01

13hrs 45min

Abridgement

Unabridged

Genre

Fiction/Classics

Description

“The listener is well served in this audiobook by the truly marvelous narration of Anna Fields. She perfectly captures Lily and a largish cast, discriminating among them with such skill that you’ll believe you’re hearing a full-cast recording. Wharton’s book, though dated, is fine, and Fields makes it even finer. Winner of the AudioFile Earphones Award.” AudioFile

Winner of an AudioFile Earphones Award
One of Modern Library's 100 Best English-Language Novels of the Twentieth Century
A New York Public Library Staff Pick of Favorite Books of the Last 125 Years

Set among the elegant brownstones and opulent country houses of turn-of-the-century upper-class New York, Edith Wharton’s first great novel is a precise, satiric portrayal of what the author herself called “a society of irresponsible pleasure-seekers.”

Her brilliantly complex characterization of the doomed Lily Bart, whose stunning beauty and dependence on marriage for economic survival reduce her to a decorative object, is an incisive commentary on the status of women in that society. Lily is all too much a product of the world indicated by the title, a phrase taken from Ecclesiastes: “The heart of fools is in the house of mirth.” From her tragic attraction to bachelor lawyer Lawrence Seldon to her desperate relationship with the social-climbing Rosedale, it is Lily’s very specialness that threatens the fulfillment she seeks in life.

Time after time, Lily fails to make the ultimate move, to abandon the possibility of a greater love and enter into a mercenary union. This masterful novel from one of literature’s greatest voices is a tragedy of money, morality, and missed opportunity.

Praise

“The listener is well served in this audiobook by the truly marvelous narration of Anna Fields. She perfectly captures Lily and a largish cast, discriminating among them with such skill that you’ll believe you’re hearing a full-cast recording. Wharton’s book, though dated, is fine, and Fields makes it even finer. Winner of the AudioFile Earphones Award.” AudioFile

“Fields’ rendition vivifies the character in such a way that they become lifelong companions in one’s mind.” Booklist

“The performance by Fields is a perfect balance of energy and subtlety, lending and authenticity that is in keeping with Wharton’s vibrant prose style.” Kliatt

“A tragedy of our modern life, in which the relentlessness of what men used to call Fate and esteem, in their ignorance, a power beyond their control, is as vividly set forth as ever it was by Aeschylus or Shakespeare.” New York Times

“Wharton’s characters leap out from the pages and…become very real. You know their hearts, souls and yearnings, and the price they pay for those yearnings.” San Francisco Examiner

“Wharton is mercilessly frank as she chronicles Lily’s fall from grace…where individual tragedies are easily subsumed by the current of other people lives.” Guardian (London)

“Perhaps the finest study of American social life, certainly the strongest and most artistic novel of the year.” San Francisco Chronicle, 1905

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Details
More Information
Language English
Release Day Feb 28, 2001
Release Date March 1, 2001
Release Date Machine 983404800
Imprint Blackstone Publishing
Provider Craig Black
Categories Classics, Literature & Fiction, Genre Fiction, Classics, Literary Fiction, Romance, Classics, Evergreen Classics, Evergreen Classics
Author Bio
Edith Wharton

Edith Wharton (1862–1937) is the author the novels The Age of Innocence and Old New York , both of which won the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction. She was the first woman to receive that honor. In 1929 she was awarded the American Academy of Arts and Letters Gold Medal for Fiction. She was born in New York and is best known for her stories of life among the upper-class society into which she was born. She was educated privately at home and in Europe. In 1894 she began writing fiction, and her novel The House of Mirth established her as a leading writer.

Narrator Bio
Anna Fields

Kate Fleming (a.k.a. Anna Fields) (1965–2006), winner of more than a dozen Earphones Awards and the prestigious Audie Award in 2004, was one of the most respected narrators in the industry. Trained at the Actors Theatre of Louisville, she was also a director, producer, and technician at her own studio, Cedar House Audio.

Overview

Winner of an AudioFile Earphones Award
One of Modern Library's 100 Best English-Language Novels of the Twentieth Century
A New York Public Library Staff Pick of Favorite Books of the Last 125 Years

Set among the elegant brownstones and opulent country houses of turn-of-the-century upper-class New York, Edith Wharton’s first great novel is a precise, satiric portrayal of what the author herself called “a society of irresponsible pleasure-seekers.”

Her brilliantly complex characterization of the doomed Lily Bart, whose stunning beauty and dependence on marriage for economic survival reduce her to a decorative object, is an incisive commentary on the status of women in that society. Lily is all too much a product of the world indicated by the title, a phrase taken from Ecclesiastes: “The heart of fools is in the house of mirth.” From her tragic attraction to bachelor lawyer Lawrence Seldon to her desperate relationship with the social-climbing Rosedale, it is Lily’s very specialness that threatens the fulfillment she seeks in life.

Time after time, Lily fails to make the ultimate move, to abandon the possibility of a greater love and enter into a mercenary union. This masterful novel from one of literature’s greatest voices is a tragedy of money, morality, and missed opportunity.

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