The Age of Innocence
Winner of the first Pulitzer Prize ever awarded to a book written by a woman, The Age of Innocence is a suspenseful, deeply moving, and brilliantly accomplished novel of the struggle between desire and destiny.
In the polished works of Edith Wharton, Old New York is a society at once infinitely sophisticated and ruthlessly primitive, in which adherence to ritual and loyalty to clan surpass all other values—and transgression is always punished.
The Age of Innocence is Wharton’s 1920 novel of love menaced by convention, played out against a gorgeously arrayed backdrop of opera houses, lavish dinner parties, country homes, and luxurious deathbeds. The young lawyer Newland Archer believes that he must make an impossible choice: domesticity with his docile and lovely fiancée, May Welland, or passion with her highly unsuitable but irresistible cousin, the Countess Ellen Olenska. What Newland does not suspect—but will learn—is that the women also hold cards in this game…