Age of Innocence
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Description: 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.
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All the information you need in one place! Each Study Brief is a summary of one specific subject; facts, figures, and explanations to help you learn faster.
List price: $9.95
Copyright year: 2008
Publisher: Oxford University Press, Incorporated
Publication date: 12/15/2008
Size: 5.00" wide x 7.75" long x 0.75" tall
Jane Alison has a bachelor's degree in classics from Princeton University & a M.F.A. from Columbia University. She lives in Germany.