Striking, sophisticated and witty, Lily Bart lives a life of expensive taste and civilised society in turn of the century New York. But nearing thirty and still unmarried, Lily's place in society becomes uncertain without a husband to maintain her lifestyle and social standing. After rejecting several offers of marriage, Lily's life spirals out of control as she begins an innocent relationship with a friend's husband, Gus Trenor, and is accused of adultery. Destitute and alone, Lily realizes that she has lost her chance at happiness with the only man she truly ever loved.
The House of Mirth was Edith Wharton's first important work of literature. Written in the style of a novel of manners, Wharton's depiction of social cruelty and the perils of elitism remains relevant to this day. The House of Mirth was adapted for film by Terrence Davies in 2000, starring Gillian Anderson as Lily Bart, Dan Aykroyd as Gus Trenor, and Eric Stoltz as Lawrence Seldon.
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