House of Mirth

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Novel by Edith Wharton, published in 1905.

Lily Bart, beautiful, charming, and related to prominent New York families, at 29 is searching for a rich husband with an important social position. She loves Lawrence Selden, a lawyer, who lacks the money she wants. While gambling at a house party she loses a large sum to Gus Trenor, who tries to get her to satisfy his passion by way of repayment. She escapes him and goes on a Mediterranean yachting party led by George Dorset, whose wife conceals a meeting with her lover by accusing Lily of being George's mistress. This ends Lily's life in fashionable society. She reveals her love to Selden but when he comes to her boarding house hoping that she will marry him, he finds that she has committed suicide, having put aside a bequest from her aunt to pay her debt to Trenor.

Subjects: Literature.

Reference entries

Edith Wharton (1862—1937) American novelist and short-story writer

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