The Age of Innocence

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Simon and Schuster, May 6, 2008 - Fiction - 448 pages
Winner of the 1921 Pulitzer Prize, The Age of Innocence is an elegant, masterful portrait of desire and betrayal in old New Yorknow with a new introduction from acclaimed author Colm Tóibín for the novel’s centennial.

With vivid power, Wharton evokes a time of gaslit streets, formal dances held in the ballrooms of stately brownstones, and society people "who dreaded scandal more than disease." This is Newland Archer's world as he prepares to many the docile May Welland. Then, suddenly, the mysterious, intensely nonconformist Countess Ellen Olenska returns to New York after a long absence, turning Archer's world upside down.

This classic Wharton tale of thwarted love is an exuberantly comic and profoundly moving look at the passions of the human heart, as well as a literary achievement of the highest order.
 

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Contents

THE AGE OF INNOCENCE
7
Notes
387
Interpretive Notes
407
Critical Excerpts
415
Questions for Discussion
425
Copyright

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About the author (2008)

Edith Wharton (1862–1937) was an American novelist—the first woman to win a Pulitzer Prize for her novel The Age of Innocence in 1921—as well as a short story writer, playwright, designer, reporter, and poet. Born into one of New York's elite families, she drew upon her knowledge of upper class aristocracy to realistically portray the lives and morals of the Gilded Age.

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