Edith Wharton has long been associated with misogyny and prudishness, both by scholars and by popular critics. This article examines Wharton's 1913 novel The Custom of the Country alongside contemporary feminist criticism such as Ariel Levy's 2005 Female Chauvinist Pigs to argue that Wharton's acid-tongued portrayal of The Custom of the Country's antiheroine Undine Spragg is evidence of her forward-thinking critique of the replacement of authentic female sexual experience with the consumer-driven publicity. In Zibrak's reading, The Custom of the Country emerges as a prescient portrait of a culture saturated in sexual imagery but devoid of sexual pleasure.

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