The Buccaneers by Marion Mainwaring & Edith Wharton

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Synopsis

Set in the 1870s, the same period as Wharton's The Age of Innocence, The Buccaneers is about five wealthy American girls denied entry into New York Society because their parents' money is too new. At the suggestion of their clever governess, the girls sail to London, where they marry lords, earls, and dukes who find their beauty charming—and their wealth extremely useful.After Wharton's death in 1937, The Christian Science Monitor said, "If it could have been completed, The Buccaneers would doubtless stand among the richest and most sophisticated of Wharton's novels." Now, with wit and imagination, Marion Mainwaring has finished the story, taking her cue from Wharton's own synopsis. It is a novel any Wharton fan will celebrate and any romantic reader will love. This is the richly engaging story of Nan St. George and guy Thwarte, an American heiress and an English aristocrat, whose love breaks the rules of both their societies.


 

About Marion Mainwaring & Edith Wharton

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America's most famous woman of letters, and the first woman to win the Pulitzer Prize, Edith Wharton was born into one of the last "leisured class" families in New York City, as she put it, in 1862. Educated privately, she was married to Edward Wharton in 1885, and for the next few years they spent their time in the high society of Newport, Rhode Island, then Lenox, Massachusetts, and Europe. It was in Europe that Wharton first met Henry James, who was to have a profound and lasting influence on her life and work. Wharton's first published book was a work of nonfiction in collaboration with Ogden Codman, The Decoration of Houses (1897), but from early on, her marriage had been a source of distress, and she was advised by her doctor to write fiction to relieve her nervous tension. Wharton's first short stories appeared in Scribner's Magazine, and although she published several volumes of fiction around the turn of the century, including The Greater Inclination (1899), The Touchstone (1900), Crucial Instances (1901), The Valley of Decision (1902), Sanctuary (1903), and The Descent of Man and Other Stories (1904), it was not until the publication of the bestselling The House of Mirth in 1905 that she was recognized as one of the most important novelists of her time for her keen social insight and subtle sense of satire. In 1906 Wharton visited Paris, which inspired Madame de Treymes (1907), and made her home there in 1907, finally divorcing her husband in 1912. The years before the outbreak of World War I represent the core of her artistic achievement with the publication of Ethan Frome in 1911, The Reef in 1912, and The Custom of the Country in 1913. During the war she remained in France organizing relief for Belgian refugees, for which she was later awarded the Legion of Honor. She also wrote two novels about the war, The Marne (1918) and A Son at the Front (1923), and although living in France she continued to write about New England and the Newport society she knew so well and described in Summer (1917), the companion to Ethan Frome, and The Age of Innocence (1920), for which she won the Pulitzer Prize. Her other works include Old New York (1924), The Mother's Recompense (1925), The Writing of Fiction (1925), The Children (1928), Hudson River Bracketed (1929), and her autobiography, A Backward Glance (1934). She died in France in 1937.
 
Published October 1, 1994 by Penguin Books. 418 pages
Genres: Literature & Fiction, Romance, Humor & Entertainment, History. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for The Buccaneers

Kirkus Reviews

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 A major novel of manners, three-fifths completed at the time of Wharton's death in 1937 and published as a fragment in 1938, has now been finished with impressive spirit and skill by Wharton scholar Marion Mainwaring.

May 20 2010 | Read Full Review of The Buccaneers

Publishers Weekly

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Aided by the gifted Mainwaring, Wharton delivers a posthumous gift to both the high and the low of brow with this novel, which was left unfinished at her death in 1937 and published in its incomplete

Aug 30 1993 | Read Full Review of The Buccaneers

Publishers Weekly

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Aided by the gifted Mainwaring, Wharton delivers a posthumous gift to both the high and the low of brow with this novel, which was left unfinished at her death in 1937 and published in its incomplete

Aug 30 1993 | Read Full Review of The Buccaneers

Publishers Weekly

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Mainwaring commendably completes Wharton's unfinished novel about five wealthy American women seeking entrance into elite society by marrying British aristocrats. (Oct.)

Oct 03 1994 | Read Full Review of The Buccaneers

Los Angeles Times

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Marion Mainwaring, who picked up the strands of the plot where Wharton's manuscript stopped, has finished the book in a style so close to Wharton's in spirit, vocabulary, sentence structure and rhythm that the transition should be imperceptible even to the original author's most ardent admirers.

Sep 17 1993 | Read Full Review of The Buccaneers

The Independent

The Buccaneers makes lighter work of the same conflicts, with the satire - its best feature - sprayed evenly at both sides of the Atlantic.

Nov 14 1993 | Read Full Review of The Buccaneers

Persephone Magazine

So do you want to be that American girl who bags an English lord, but who doesn’t know where to start?

May 28 2013 | Read Full Review of The Buccaneers

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