Book summary: Madame de Treymes

1907 BY EDITH WHARTON

Madame de Treymes, Edith Wharton's first publication after the highly successful The House of Mirth, is a captivating portrait of turn-of-the-century American and French culture. Inspired by Wharton's own entré into Parisian society in 1906 and reminiscent of the works of Henry James, it tells the story of two young innocents abroad: Fanny Frisbee of New York, unhappily married to the dissolute Marquis de Malrive, and John Durham, her childhood friend who arrives in Paris intent on convincing Fanny to divorce her husband and marry him instead.
A subtle investigation of the clash of cultures and the role of women in the social hierarchy, Madame de Treymes confirms Edith Wharton's position, as Edmund Wilson wrote, as "an historian of the American society of her time."

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