The Age of Innocence

Front Cover
1st World Library, Dec 31, 2007 - 383 pages
110 Reviews
Between what matters and what seems to matter, how should the world we know judge wisely? When the scheming, indomitable brain of Sigsbee Manderson was scattered by a shot from an unknown hand, that world lost nothing worth a single tear; it gained something memorable in a harsh reminder of the vanity of such wealth as this dead man had piled up-without making one loyal friend to mourn him, without doing an act that could help his memory to the least honor. But when the news of his end came, it seemed to those living in the great vortices of business as if the earth, too, shuddered under a blow. In all the lurid commercial history of his country there had been no figure that had so imposed itself upon the mind of the trading world. He had a niche apart in its temples.

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User Review  - TerriS - LibraryThing

I enjoyed this classic novel, set in the 1870's, of a man, during this "Age of Innocence," who gives up the love of his life to "do the right thing." 'Enjoyed' might be a strong word -- I'll amend -- I'm glad I read it. Read full review

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User Review  - bsiemens - LibraryThing

This amazing novel makes me want to read more of the Pulitzer fiction winners. At the beginning, I actually thought about dumping it, but quickly caught on after I read the character description and synopsis by Cliff's Notes. Read full review

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About the author (2007)

America's most famous woman of letters, and the first woman to win the Pulitzer Prize, Edith Wharton was born into one of the last "leisured class" families in New York City, as she put it, in 1862. Educated privately, she was married to Edward Wharton in 1885, and for the next few years, they spent their time in the high society of Newport (Rhode Island), then Lenox (Massachusetts) and Europe. It was in Europe that Wharton first met Henry James, who was to have a profound and lasting influence on her life and work. Wharton's first published book was a work of nonfiction, in collaboration with Ogden Codman, "The Decoration of Houses" (1897), but from early on, her marriage had been a source of distress, and she was advised by her doctor to write fiction to relieve her nervous tension. Wharton's first short stories appeared in "Scribner's Magazine, " and though she published several volumes of fiction around the turn of the century, including "The Greater Inclination" (1899), "The Touchstone" (1900), "Crucial Instances" (1901), "The Valley of Decision" (1902), "Sanctuary" (1903), and "The Descent of Man and Other Stories" (1904), it wasn't until 1905, with the publication of the bestselling "The House of Mirth, " that she was recognized as one of the most important novelists of her time for her keen social insight and subtle sense of satire. In 1906, Wharton visited Paris, which inspired "Madame de Treymes" (1907), and she made her home there in 1907, finally divorcing her husband in 1912. The years before the outbreak of World War I represent the core of her artistic achievement, when "Ethan Frome" (1911), "The Reef" (1912), and "The Custom of the Country" (1913) were published. During the war, she remained in France organizing relief for Belgian refugees, for which she was later awarded the Legion of Honor. She also wrote two novels about the war, "The Marne" (1918) and "A Son at the Front" (1923), and continued, in France, to write about New England and the Newport society she had known so well in "Summer" (1917), the companion to "Ethan Frome, " and "The Age of Innocence" (1920), for which she won the Pulitzer Prize. Wharton died in France in 1937. Her other works include "Old New York" (1924), "The Mother's Recompense" (1925), "The Writing of Fiction" (1925), "The Children" (1928), "Hudson River Bracketed" (1929), and her autobiography, "A Backward Glance" (1934).

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