The Custom of the Country by Edith Wharton
By Edith Wharton
Hugely acclaimed at its book in 1913, The customized of the rustic is a slicing statement on America's nouveaux riches, their upward-yearning aspirations and their eventual downfalls. via her heroine, the gorgeous and ruthless Undine Spragg, a spoiled heiress who appears to be like to her subsequent materialistic triumph as her most up-to-date conquest throws himself at her toes, Edith Wharton provides a startling, satiric imaginative and prescient of social habit in all its grasping glory. As Undine strikes from America's heartland to ny, after which to Paris, Wharton's severe eye leaves no social classification unscathed.
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Extra resources for The Custom of the Country
This air of realism was heightened by a promotional stunt Irving pulled off with the help of Henry Brevoort and James Kirke Paulding. In the weeks prior to publication, he published a report in the New York Evening Post that an elderly gentleman by the name of Knickerbocker had wandered off from his lodgings without paying his rent, leaving behind only a collection of papers in manuscript. In a subsequent issue, a letter to the editor reported that a gentleman matching Knickerbocker舗s description had been seen in the Hudson River Valley, walking north toward Albany.
Thus accoutred, he gravely walked into the room, with his ivory-headed ebony cane in one hand, and gently swaying his three-cornered beaver with the other.
374). This hoax was remarkably successful, so much so that for a time Irving舗s narrator gained greater notoriety than the author himself. The historical accuracy of his narrative of New York舗s history as the Dutch colony of New Amsterdam made his mock-heroic epic more than a Swiftean satire. It provided the newly formed nation with a basis for history that was free of associations with British colonial rule. 舡 America舗s need to declare its cultural independence from Britain intensified in the decade following the War of 1812.