Highly acclaimed at its publication in 1913, The Custom of the Country is a cutting commentary on America’s nouveaux riches, their upward-yearning aspirations and their eventual downfalls. Through her heroine, the beautiful and ruthless Undine Spragg, a spoiled heiress who looks to her next materialistic triumph as her latest conquest throws himself at her feet, Edith Wharton presents a startling, satiric vision of social behavior in all its greedy glory. As Undine moves from America’s heartland to Manhattan, and then to Paris, Wharton’s critical eye leaves no social class unscathed.
About the Author
Edith Wharton (1862-1937) was raised in New York City in a socially prominent family. She wrote the novels The Age of Innocence, Ethan Frome, Old New York, The Old Maid, and The House of Mirth.
Wharton is past president of the Outdoor Writer's Association of America and writes about Utah for the Salt Lake Tribune.
An influential literary critic, Lorna Sage was a professor of English at the University of East Anglia in Norwich, England. Her other books include Women in the House of Fiction, The Cambridge Guide to Women s Writing in English, and a study of the novelist Angela Carter. She died in 2001.
"Edith Wharton's finest achievement."