Her Infinite Variety
From one of America's greatest men of letters, our sublime master of manners, comes his long-awaited new novel, HER INFINITE VARIETY. Louis Auchincloss has been called "our most astute observer of moral paradox among the affluent" (Arthur Schlesinger, Jr.), his fiction described as that which "has always examined what makes life worth living" (Washington Post Book World). Now he brings us the rollicking tale of an unforgettable woman of mid-twentieth century America: the devilish, forever plotting, yet wholly beguiling Clara Hoyt.
A romantic early in life, Clara gets engaged -- much to her mother's horror -- to the lackluster Bobbie Lester. Soon after her Vassar graduation, however, Clara sees the error of her ways, spurns Bobbie, and slyly enthralls the well-bred and fabulously wealthy Trevor Hoyt, the first of her husbands. Soon she lands a job at a tony magazine, and so begins her wildly entertaining course to the inner sanctum of New York's aristocracy and into the boardrooms of the publishing world.
In a world where women still had to wield the weapons of allure and charm, above all else, to secure positions of power, Clara, one of the last of her kind, succeeds marvelously. Auchincloss gives us, in Clara, an irresistible Cleopatra, lovely, wily, and mercurial. As Shakespeare wrote of that feminine creation, "Age cannot wither her, nor custom stale / Her infinite variety."
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HER INFINITE VARIETYUser Review - Jane Doe - Kirkus
One of Auchincloss's great themes—the decline of the ruling-class WASP—here expands to include the female strivers of the pre-feminist age. Think of all this century's grande dames, those smart and ... Read full review
Her infinite varietyUser Review - Not Available - Book Verdict
Well, I don't know about variety. Clara Hoyt seems like a pretty typical young, striving aristocratic woman earlier in this century, when the clear path to coldblooded success was to marry well. Clara ... Read full review