THE HOUSE OF MIRTH.
With Illustrations by A.B. Wenzell. New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1905. Original red cloth.
First Edition, early printing, of Edith Wharton's first major novel -- which had "the most rapid sale of any book ever published by Scribner" at the time. The novel "covers the last seventeen months in the life of Lily Bart, a beautiful and fashionable but also penniless and imprudent young woman in her late twenties. The action... is spurred by Lily's extraordinary capacity to get herself, at least half innocently, into situations of a doubtful, even of a scandalous, nature" [Lewis].
Due to the "rapid sale," there were four Scribner printings dated 1905 (the earlier two printed on laid paper, the later two on wove paper); the first and fourth have blank ad leaves at the rear, while the second and third have printed ads there. This copy is on wove paper with blank ad leaves -- hence, the fourth and last 1905 printing (but except for the type of paper used, identical to the first). Fine condition (an appropriate Brentano's NY sticker on the rear endpaper -- likely the original bookseller). Garrison A12.I.f. Item #15172