When Udine Spragg moves to New York from the Midwest with her family, she’s naïve to the ways of upper class society, but determined to climb the social ladder and live the kind of extravagant lifestyle that her new surroundings have exposed her to. However, Udine’s manipulations tend to be blunt, leaving her attached to men that she soon grows bored with, or who fall short of her ever-growing expectations.
The Custom of the Country is one of Edith Wharton’s lasting novels, and the character of Udine Spragg has been compared to other famous anti-heroines, including Gone with the Wind’s Scarlett O’Hara and Vanity Fair’s Becky Sharp. Downton Abbey creator Julian Fellowes has also cited The Custom of the Country as an inspiration for his work.
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