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Book Cover for: The Age of Innocence, Edith Wharton

The Age of Innocence

Edith Wharton

Reader Score

84%

84% of readers

recommend this book

When the Countess Ellen Olenska returns from Europe, fleeing her brutish husband, her rebellious independence and passionate awareness of life stir the educated sensitivity of Newland Archer, already engaged to be married to her cousin May Welland, "that terrifying product of the social system he belonged to and believed in, the young girl who knew nothing and expected everything." As the consequent drama unfolds, Edith Wharton's sharp ironic wit and Jamesian mastery of form create a disturbingly accurate picture of men and women caught in a society that denies humanity while desperately defending "civilization."

Book Details

  • Publisher: Penguin Group
  • Publish Date: Mar 1st, 1996
  • Pages: 368
  • Language: English
  • Edition: Revised -
  • Dimensions: 7.79in - 5.11in - 0.69in - 0.55lb
  • EAN: 9780140189704
  • Recommended age: 18-UP
  • Categories: ClassicsLiteraryRomance - Historical - General

About the Author

Edith Wharton (1862-1937) was born Edith Newbold Jones. A member of a distinguished New York family, she was educated privately in America and abroad. During her life, she published more than forty volumes: novels, stories, verse, essays, travel books, and memoirs. She was the first woman to win the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction, for The Age of Innocence, in 1921.

Elif Batuman is the author of The Idiot, a finalist for the 2018 Pulitzer Prize in fiction, and The Possessed: Adventures with Russian Books and the People Who Read Them, a finalist for a National Book Critics Circle Award in criticism. She has been a staff writer at the New Yorker since 2010.

Sarah Blackwood is an associate professor of English at Pace University. Her criticism has appeared in the New Yorker, the New Republic, the Los Angeles Review of Books, and elsewhere.

Praise for this book

"Wharton is not generally viewed as one of literature's great optimists, and yet, by the last chapter of The Age of Innocence, people are a little less hypocritical, a little more willing to see and accept the world. ... A larger life and more tolerant views that's the greatest promise the novel holds out to us, and it's as necessary now as it was when Edith Wharton put it into words."
--Elif Batuman, author of The Idiot, from the foreword

"Will writers ever recover that peculiar blend of security and alertness which characterizes Mrs. Wharton and her tradition?"
--E. M. Forster