Initially serialized in the Pictorial Review in 1920, The Age of Innocence is a stylistic and intimate portrayal of upper class life in New York City during the Gilded Age.
Lawyer and socialite Newland Archer is about to enter a loveless marriage with a well-to-do bride, when her cousin, the exotic Ellen Olenska, enters the picture. Olenska is stuck in a bad marriage with a Polish count, and Archer finds himself in the awkward position of persuading her to save her family’s reputation by staying with her husband, even though Archer himself has fallen in love with her.
Combining a romantic tragedy with artful descriptions of aristocratic life in New York City, Edith Wharton’s twelfth novel is now available as an elegantly designed clothbound edition with an elastic closure and a new introduction.
Edith Wharton (1862-1937) was a brilliant, clever American writer known for such works as The House of Mirth and Ethan Frome. She became the first woman to win a Pulitzer when she was awarded the 1921 Prize for her novel The Age of Innocence. A member of the New York elite, Wharton funnelled her experiences into vivid portrayals and critiques of high society, while deftly exposing the painful tension between personal desires and societal norms. Wharton died in Paris in 1937 at the age of 75, having written 85 short stories, 16 novels, 11 works of nonfiction, and 3 books of poetry.Laura Ciolkowski is Associate Director of the Institute for Research on Women, Gender, and Sexuality and Adjunct Associate Professor of English & Comparative Literature at Columbia University. Her work on Victorian literature and culture has been published in numerous academic journals, including Studies in the Novel, Victorian Literature and Culture, Genders, and Novel: A Forum on Fiction.