Friday, September 28, 2012

I'm reading.....The House of Mirth

Mrs Lloyd - Joshua Reynolds

" She had shown her artistic intelligence in selecting a type so like her own that she could embody the person represented without ceasing to be herself. It was as though she had stepped, not out of, but into, Reynolds's canvas, banishing the phantom of his dead beauty by the beams of her living grace. The impulse to show herself in a splendid setting - she had thought for a moment of representing Tiepolo's Cleopatra - had yielded to the truer instinct of trusting to her unassisted beauty, and she had purposely chosen a picture without distracting accessories of dress or surroundings. Her pale draperies, and the background of the foliage against which she stood, served only to relieve the long dryad-like curves that swept upward from her poised foot to her lifted arm. The noble buoyancy of her attitude, its suggestion of soaring grace, revealed the touch of poetry in her beauty that Selden always felt in her presence, yet lost the sense of when he was not with her. Its expression was now so vivid that for the first time he seemed to see before him the real Lily Bart, divested of the trivialities of her little world, and catching for a moment a note of that eternal harmony of which her beauty was a part."

Move over, Maggie Tulliver, and make room for Lily Bart!


  1. A wonderful book and a wonderful heroine - enjoy!

  2. I know I've read at least one of Edith Wharton's novels, but for the life of me I can't remember which one! Clearly, I did not appreciate it at the time.

    1. Lily Bart is a memorable character so I doubt it was this one. The only other I've read is The Age of Innocence.

  3. This is a favorite and I really need to reread it!