Lily Bart has no fortune, but she possesses everything else she needs to make an excellent marriage: beauty, intelligence, a love of luxury and an elegant skill in negotiating the hidden traps and false friends of New York's high society. But time and again Lily cannot bring herself to make the final decisive move: to abandon her sense of self and a chance of love for the final soulless leap into a mercenary union. Her time is running out, and degradation awaits. Edith Wharton's masterful novel is a tragedy of money, morality and missed opportunity.
The tragic fall of Lily Bart, a beautiful socialite who loses her footing in the savage social-climbing world of New York high society in the nineteenth century
Edith Wharton was born on 24 January 1862 in New York. She was educated in both America and Europe. In 1885 she married Edward Robbins Wharton. In 1899 she published her first work, a collection of stories called The Greater Inclination. In 1900 she published her first novel, The Touchstone. She wrote many other works including travel writing, home decoration manuals, short stories and her famous novels The House of Mirth (1905), Ethan Frome (1911), The Custom of the Country (1913) and The Age of Innocence (1920). She lived in France from 1907. She was made a Chevalier of the Legion of Honor in 1916 for her work helping refugees there during the war. Edith Wharton died on 11 August 1937.