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The House of Mirth, Gossip Girl's great grandmother?

The first book I read entirely on an e-reader was Edith Wharton's The Age of Innocence.  I downloaded it as a pdf from books.google.com, legally, since it is long past any copyright considerations.  The pdf was created from a library book, and had all sorts of charming notes and scribblings preserved in the margins.  I loved it, and it was a very enjoyable first e-reader experience.

This past week I read The House of Mirth.  And while reading this, I loved drawing all the little parallels between The Age of Innocence, The House of Mirth, and the Gossip Girl novels/tv show.  Ok, I admit it.  Gossip Girl was the reason I read The Age of Innocence in the first place.  I swear that somewhere in one of the novels, or maybe the prequel, Serena is holding/reading a copy of The Age of Innocence and this is meant to be significant.  But when I went searching the internetz for blogs or articles outlining the parallels, I found astonishingly little.

Almost every article or blog post comparing Edit Wharton and Gossip Girl mentions one or two of the following points:
  • The House of Mirth and Gossip Girl both start with a girl in Grand Central Station. 
  • Lily Bart is kinda like the name Lily Bass, wife of Bart Bass.  
  • In the television show, the teens' senior play is an adaptation of The Age of Innocence.
Some go so far as to say that Edith Wharton was the Gossip Girl of her times, based on her letters and correspondence.  Only one mentions a correlation for a more minor character:  the fact that Cyrus Rose and Simon Rosedale are the only Jewish characters present in each.  However, it seemed to me that there were many more obvious parallels in characters. For example:
  • Serena van der Woodsen as Ellen Olenska 
  • Nate Archibald as Newland Archer
These two might suggest that Blair Waldorf is May Welland, but her scheming makes her much more akin to Bertha Dorset.  That may be taking it too far, however.  Cecily von Ziegesar acknowledges Edith Wharton as an influence, but she may be just as influenced by the entire genre of the novel of manners.  She does list her favorite book as The Great Gatsby.  Von Ziegesar is likely to have used Wharton's characters as inspiration for her own and then let the modern setting take the plot from there.  But it's still fun to speculate:  do you think Dan Humphrey is a Lawrence Selden? 

for references, click here:  http://delicious.com/ejmankh/houseofmirth

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