The Age of Innocence (Oxford World's Classics)
The Age of Innocence, Edith Wharton's most famous novel, is a love story, written immediately after the end of the First World War. Its brilliant anatomization of the snobbery and hypocrisy of the wealthy elite of New York society in the 1870s made it an instant classic, and it won the Pulitzer... show more
The Age of Innocence, Edith Wharton's most famous novel, is a love story, written immediately after the end of the First World War. Its brilliant anatomization of the snobbery and hypocrisy of the wealthy elite of New York society in the 1870s made it an instant classic, and it won the Pulitzer Prize in 1921. Newland Archer, Wharton's protagonist, charming, tactful, enlightened, is a thorough product of this society; he accepts its standards and abides by its rules but he also recognizes its limitations. His engagement to the impeccable May Welland assures him of a safe and conventional future, until the arrival of May's cousin Ellen Olenska. Independent, free-thinking, scandalously separated from her husband, Ellen forces Archer to question the values and assumptions of his narrow world. As their love for each other grows, Archer has to decide where his ultimate loyalty lies. Stephen Orgel's introduction and notes set the novel in the context of the period and discusses Wharton's skilfull weaving of characters and plot, her anthropological exactitude, and the novel's autobiographical overtones.
Publish date: March 9th 2006
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Pages no: 255
Edition language: English
I loved the story, but I didn't care for the narrator very much. I can't add to the reams that have already been written about this novel. I adore Edith Wharton, at least-what I've read so far, and I admire her powers of observation and her wit. I wouldn't have lasted five minutes in what passed f...
In the course of reading "The Age of Innocence", I sometimes just forgot that it plays in the late 19th century, because its plot and main characters somehow seem to fit contemporary views just like they would 19th-century morals. I truly enjoyed Edith Wharton's novel and ironic style of writing.
I knew this book was a classic, but not that it was a romance. I went in not knowing what to expect and came out liking the book in general; however, it was difficult for me at times. First, I had no idea how snooty and shallow New York society was at the turn of the 20th century. I can understand...
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The Age of Innocence is the third book in Wharton's loosely-linked cycle focused on upper class New York of the 1870's (the other two books are The House of Mirth, published in 1905, and The Custom of the Country, published in 1913). She's writing from a distance, looking backward between 30 and 50 ...