Om Custom of the Country
Edith Wharton's lacerating satire on marriage and materialism in turn-of-the-century New York features her most selfish, ruthless, and irresistibly outrageous female character.Undine Spragg is an exquisitely beautiful but ferociously acquisitive young woman from the Midwest who comes to New York to seek her fortune. She achieves her social ambitionsbut only at the highest cost to her family, her admirers, and her several husbands. Wharton lavished on Undine an imaginative energy that suggests she was as fascinated as she was appalled by the alluring monster she had created. It is the complexity of her attitude that makes The Custom of the Countrywith its rich social and emotional detail and its headlong narrative powerone of the most fully realized and resonant of her works.