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The Age of Innocence

Edith Wharton
Edited by Stephen Orgel

14 August 2008

ISBN: 9780199540013

304 pages

Oxford World's Classics

Price: £7.99



Edith Wharton's most famous novel, written immediately after the end of the First World War, is a brilliantly realized anatomy of New York society in the 1870s. The charming Newland Archer is content to live within its constraints until he meets Ellen Olenska, whose arrival threatens his impending marriage as well as his comfortable future.

  • The Age of Innocence is a love story, and a minute dissection of old New York society in the 1870s. Its brilliant anatomization of the snobbery and hypocrisy of this wealthy elite made it an instant classic, and it won the Pulitzer Prize in 1921.
  • 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.
  • The novel is perhaps Wharton's best-known book following Martin Scorsese's 1993 film version, starring Daniel Day-Lewis and Michelle Pfeiffer

About the Author(s)

Edith Wharton

Edited by Stephen Orgel, Jackson Eli Reynolds Professor in Humanities, Stanford University

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