“She had no tolerance for scenes which were not of her own making": First edition of Edith Wharton's The House of Mirth
The House of Mirth.
Item Number: 98723
New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1905.
First edition, first issue with the Scribner’s seal to the copyright page of the novel that brought Wharton international success. Octavo, original cloth, gilt titles to the spine and front panel, top edge gilt, frontispiece with tissue guard, illustrated with eight plates by A.B. Wenzell. In near fine condition, contemporary bookplate to the pastedown. Housed in a custom slipcase.
"The House of Mirth, crucial in Wharton's career, establishes many of her major themes and motifs. In its careful structure and symbolism, it reveals how much she had learned about her craft. Its imagery, concerned with fate, Furies, light, darkness, beauty, Darwinian nature, economic determinism, a social realm in transition, and, above all, a circumscribed role for women, points to themes she would employ throughout her career" (Lowe, Modern American Women Writers, 389). "With this novel Wharton recognized, as she would note in her 1934 autobiography, A Backward Glance, that her true subject was the society of old New York and 'its power of debasing people and ideals" (ANB).