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Madame de Treymes

3.48  ·  Rating details ·  535 ratings  ·  60 reviews
Edith Wharton's "Madame de Treymes" is a remarkable example of the form. It is the story of the tactical defeat but moral victory of an honest and upstanding American in his struggle to win a wife from a tightly united but feudally minded French aristocratic family. He loses, but they cheat. . . . In a masterpiece of brevity, Wharton dramatizes the contrast between the two ...more
Paperback, Penguin 60s, 87 pages
Published September 1st 1995 by Penguin (first published 1907)
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Roman Clodia
Nov 19, 2018 rated it really liked it
"Oh, we are of different races, with a different point of honour;"

This short novella of under 90 pages shows Wharton at her most Jamesian with a story centred on the different morals (and, incidentally, religious prescripts) of Americans and an old French family. Concerned with questions of love, divorce and family ethics, at its heart is a sense of breathtaking malice. This is perhaps not the most representative of Wharton's stories but is deliciously cruel for such a small page count and und
Jan 02, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Sep 25, 2017 rated it liked it
Un exquisito -y breve- retrato de la sociedad americana y francesa a través de dos familias y un conflicto. Interesante como para querer leer más de Edith Wharton, pero no memorable.
Jun 04, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Otro libro de Edith Wharton que me encanta. Es una historia muy cortita en la que Madame de Treymes lleva todo el peso de la trama. De ella depende que una mujer consiga el divorcio y vuelva a casarse.


Um pequeno romance (praticamente uma novela) no qual ficam bem vincadas as diferenças basilares entre a velha aristocracia europeia (detentora de uma falsa moral e de um snobismo gritantes) e a burguesia norte-americana (autêntica, flexível e moralmente incorruptível).

Madame de Treymes é a representante dessa nobreza europeia fundada em falsos pressupostos religiosos e morais, e John Durham é o americano abastado que tenta libertar Madame de Malrive (a Fanny Frisbee da sua infância) de um casame
Jun 27, 2017 rated it liked it
Certain attitudes are born and bred in us, I suppose.

“I don’t know—it’s an instinct. There doesn’t seem to be any choice.”

This is a well-told, plot-driven story that illuminates the difference between the expectations of entrenched family and societal traditions versus the freedom and consequences of individual choice. It made me think that, although recent events have given me reason to doubt, perhaps I was born in the right place and at the right time after all.
Sep 14, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: reto-2015
Si hay algo que me gusta de los libros de Impedimenta es que casi siempre son tan preciosos por dentro como por fuera. Abrir un título de esta editorial supone embarcarse en un viaje repleto de elegancia, sofisticación y decadencia a partes iguales, un trayecto que, de cualquier modo, merece mucho la pena recorrer. En el caso concreto de Madame de Treymes, primer y tímido acercamiento que hago a la obra de Edith Wharton, este paseo por las calles y clases de una París misteriosa, indescifrable, ...more
Sep 01, 2017 rated it it was ok
2,5 estrellas. Me gusta porque se ve la hipocresia de la clase alta aristócrata en el siglo pasado en Francia, pero me ha decepcionado no sé me han gustado otros libros más de la autora que he leido.
Bett Correa-Bollhoefer
Apr 16, 2018 rated it really liked it
Very short but intense. Shows the difference between American society and French. It also is a love story.
Apr 01, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Una novela breve, interesante.
Sep 15, 2009 rated it really liked it
This is a short novella and great read. It brings up to important issues one is the politics of divorce and love and the other is American individuality versus traditional society emphasis on family and societal norms.

1) First the politics of divorce. The book has characters who are not happy in their present marriage. Whereas Mme de Malrive wants a divorce due to her husbands infidelity, Mme de Treymes is trapped in a loveless marriage and cannot divorce due to her family and Catholic faith ev
Feb 26, 2014 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Spoiler Alert: I'm not revealing too much, but you may wish to skip this review if you plan to read the book.

This novel is not really up to Wharton's usual standards. It's a quick read, somewhat dated. Mainly about a woman whose wish for a divorce and a new life with a good man is stymied by her husband's family, and as you read you can predict that she's just not going to succeed. You feel sorry for the poor thing because she is faced with a difficult choice - her new man or custody of her son
Jun 10, 2012 rated it really liked it
In this short story/novella, Parisian high society does not easily "allow" its members to divorce, so an American man wishing to marry one of the ladies attempts to intercede with her husband's family. He is unable to guess their motivation for helping him. Their personal choices are grounded in their cultures of social class and nationality.
This feels like a dry run before The Custom of the Country, but with a different kind of outlook. Charming, deceitful, immoral French vs pure, naive and upstanding Americans. All of them totally useless people, by the way. Set in Paris. Bonus: Catholics are scary. Boo!
May 24, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2008, classic

Wonderful very short, succinct novella which left me actually wishing it had been a longer book! I felt like I got to know the characters and wanted more of them. This is a tiny book (maybe 3x4 inches), didn't quite feel like a "real" book, but it was not abridged
Mar 27, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Short and sweet, wouldn't mind a longer version of this story.
Jenny Clark
A well written, fast paced little story. Very sad, but Durham is a very nice man.
Steven Godin
Apr 27, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: classic-fiction
Nice novella, but Wharton is better suited for the novel.
Sep 16, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A short novella about an American woman separating from her French husband. As always, a good show from Edith Wharton (I love her!), describing the intricacies of relationships between men and women. It was of particular interest to me, as an American living in Italy, to see how she compared the Americans with the French and how some details hold true today when comparing Americans and Europeans in general.
May 08, 2010 rated it liked it
Shelves: fiction, literature
Edith Wharton’s novella, “Madame de Treymes”, was published on March 2nd of 1907. It is a story about John Durham, and his desire to marry Fanny Frisbee, who is living in France and who became Madame de Malrive by marriage. Though separated from her husband and in custody of their son, Madame de Malrive fears that she cannot get a divorce which would allow her to marry John Durham. Durham goes to her cousin by marriage, Madame de Treymes, to try to determine if the family will allow a divorce. M ...more
Jan 16, 2013 rated it liked it
The story is about a man, called John Durham who travels to Paris and meet again with his previous girlfriend Fanny Frisbee, now Madame de Malrive, married to a Marquis. She and Monsieur de Malrive are separated and she and John falls in love. He proposes to her, yet she declines him. Reason? She has a son. In the case of her getting a divorce, the father will get custody of the child, especially if the mother initiated it. The son was raised a catholic and back in the day divorce was forbidden ...more
Dec 22, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Like her contemporary Henry James, Edith Wharton enjoys placing the New World of America in contrast with the Old World of England and Europe. In this novella the eponymous character is instrumental to the happiness of an American businessman who would like to marry an American woman, but she has to divorce her French husband first. Madame de Treymes plays intricate social and moral games, complicating matters tremendously, leaving the reader slightly breathless at the end. Wharton's rich late n ...more
Christopher Sutch
Aug 15, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is an uneven collection of four of Edith Wharton's short novels (or long short stories), and it highlights the difference in quality her work was sometimes capable of displaying. The two good stories are very good ("The Touchstone," "Madame de Treymes"), and of the remaining two one is flawed, but still evocative and interesting ("Sanctuary"), and the other is not very good ("Bunner Sisters"), though still readable. "The Touchstone" and "Madame de Treymes" show Wharton's facility with depic ...more
Aug 10, 2012 rated it liked it
This is more like two and a half stars, but I'm rounding up because the writing is so good. Also because the story seems to provide some of the details of what exactly might have been so awful about Ellen Olenska's marriage, which is something that I've always wondered about since I first read The Age of Innocence.

The premise, however, that Americans live by the codes of individualism and integrity, while continental Europe cares only for the (outward) integrity of the family, doesn't hold up ve
Nov 16, 2012 rated it really liked it
Madame de Treymes is a thoroughly enjoyable novel. This shorter work of hers reminded me of Kate Chopin's The Awakening, another great work. While reading Madame de Treymes, I could picture everything, as if I was watching it in film. I loved the author's choice of setting in France and the time period as well, which the author would have full knowledge about. Edith Wharton captured the art and soul of the characters so well creating an aristocratic air and tension of classes that the reader cou ...more
Sep 12, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Reading is absolutely fun when the reader is in the hands of a master--and Ms. Wharton is just that. So much is said about both the English and the French culture in this book, that it would not have been understandable enough had I not had such a familiarity with the French culture. Spot on for the French culture and their norms of behavior.

Or as another reviewer, Bennett stated: "Another of Wharton's brilliant literary profiles crafted from telling details into a short but satisfying read. As
Feb 25, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Una novela cortita que nos refleja los convencionalismos sociales europeos, en los que el matrimonio es un contrato legal más que hay que salvar por el honor de la familia y por los intereses económicos de ésta.

El contraste entre la vieja y resabida Europa y el emergente e ingenuo Estados Unidos quedan plasmados, a través de unos pocos personajes entre los que Madame de Treymes destaca por su complejidad psicológica. El debate y la interpretación de sus verdaderas intenciones queda abierto.

Un l
Sep 18, 2011 rated it it was ok
This book was a disappointment to me. I believe it might have been written at the beginning of her career. The plot twist that is the culmination of the book was so obvious to me in advance that I was disappointed in Wharton's skill as a writer to think that she would resort to it. It was also rather disparaging toward French culture especially in comparison to the American. Her portrayal of a devious scheming French woman was also difficult to digest and distracting for me.
Sep 15, 2012 rated it really liked it
Very short and very good. A perfect example of Edith Wharton, really, for anybody who may be curious about her and not sure they want to read a full-length novel. It has all the themes one comes to expect from Wharton - rich Americans fumbling and groping their way through Old World society. Good, clean, American honor and courage tries to take on European guile and chauvinism. In this story, you get to wonder just who wins.
Mar 29, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: audiobook, librivox
Edith, why must every page be steeped in angst? Even hope is despairing for certainly simple goodness cannot be believed at face value. And so ironic is it that the culture that developed Fanny into someone so much more than the American Fanny he once knew - so French - is the very same one that makes it virtually impossible for him to have her. And yet he loves her so much, he will choose her needs above his. Bittersweet. Beautiful. Sad.
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Edith Newbold Jones was born into such wealth and privilege that her family inspired the phrase "keeping up with the Joneses." The youngest of three children, Edith spent her early years touring Europe with her parents and, upon the family's return to the United States, enjoyed a privileged childhood in New York and Newport, Rhode Island. Edith's creativity and talent soon became obvious: By the a ...more
“She would not have put herself out so much to say so little.” 8 likes
“Don't judge us too harshly—or not, at least, till you have taken the trouble to learn our point of view. You consider the individual—we think only of the family.” 0 likes
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