The House of Mirth

by

Edith Wharton

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The Duchess of Beltshire Character Analysis

A member of English aristocracy, the Duchess of Beltshire is known for living a liberal, potentially immoral life of unrestrained pleasure. She appreciates Lily Bart’s presence and personality enormously and integrates the young woman into her London circle, yet Lily recognizes that spending time with the Duchess might ultimately have a negative effect on her reputation.
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The Duchess of Beltshire Character Timeline in The House of Mirth

The timeline below shows where the character The Duchess of Beltshire appears in The House of Mirth. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Book 2: Chapter 1
Love and Friendship Theme Icon
...They describe the success that Lily has had in the Mediterranean, in particular with the Duchess of Beltshire, and Selden remains quiet, as he had not expected to run into Lily... (full context)
Love and Friendship Theme Icon
...all enter his compartment, having decided to go to Nice for a dinner with the Duchess of Beltshire. (full context)
Morality vs. Hypocrisy Theme Icon
Gender, Class, and Freedom Theme Icon
...allusively about some of Lily’s problems and the dangers of staying among people like the Duchess, who have had a “liberal education,” far from the more conservative influence of people like... (full context)
Book 2: Chapter 2
Gender, Class, and Freedom Theme Icon
Love and Friendship Theme Icon
...as she has charmed everyone with her social skills. Lily has breakfast plans with the Duchess at eleven and, after failing to see Bertha Dorset, who claims to be tired, Lily... (full context)
Morality vs. Hypocrisy Theme Icon
Lily says that she can try to use her influence to make the Duchess invite Mrs. Bry, but Carry then admits that she is worried about Lily herself, because... (full context)
Morality vs. Hypocrisy Theme Icon
After Lily uses her skills to encourage the Duchess to have dinner with Wellington and Louisa Bry, she runs into George Dorset, who makes... (full context)
Morality vs. Hypocrisy Theme Icon
...herself. Lily is surprised to see that, as Bertha converses with Lord Hubert and the Duchess, she makes casual reference to George and does not seem to consider that anything is... (full context)
Book 2: Chapter 3
Gender, Class, and Freedom Theme Icon
Love and Friendship Theme Icon
...to protect Lily. In the evening, as he heads to a dinner organized by the Duchess, he finds a moment to tell Lily that she should leave the yacht, so that... (full context)
Morality vs. Hypocrisy Theme Icon
...Mrs. Bry, in particular, is extremely proud to have been invited to one of the Duchess’s dinners. As everyone leaves, Lily stands up gracefully to accept her cloak from George Dorset.... (full context)
Morality vs. Hypocrisy Theme Icon
Love and Friendship Theme Icon
...to everyone that she planned on staying on shore because of an engagement with the Duchess the next day. In an atmosphere of intense bewilderment and tension, she then casually reminds... (full context)
Book 2: Chapter 4
Morality vs. Hypocrisy Theme Icon
Gender, Class, and Freedom Theme Icon
...George and Bertha Dorset, Lily spent a few weeks in London, where, supported by the Duchess of Beltshire, she integrated into a social circle that highly admired her. When she finally... (full context)