Edith Wharton is recognized as one of the twentieth century's most important American writers. The House of Mirth not only initiated three decades of Wharton's popular and critical acclaim, it helped move women's literature into a new place of achievement and prominence. The House of Mirth isperhaps Wharton's best-known and most frequently read novel, and scholars and teachers consider it an essential introduction to Wharton and her work. The novel, moreover, lends itself to a variety of topics of inquiry and critical approaches of interest to readers at various levels. This casebookcollects critical essays addressing a broad spectrum of topics and utilizing a range of critical and theoretical approaches. It also includes Wharton's introduction to the 1936 edition of the novel and her discussion of the composition of the novel from her autobiography.