The text of Edith Wharton's Pulitzer Prize-winning 1921 novel of desire and its implications in Old New York is accompanied by necessarily rigorous annotations. "Contexts" constructs the historical foundations of the novel, with documents on "The New York Four Hundred" elite social gatherings and archery (the sport for daughters of the upper class) among others. Also featured in this section are contemporary reviews, some of Wharton's letters, related writings and manuscript outlines. "Criticism" features thirteen major essays on the novel, by Julia Ehrhardt, R.W.B. Lewis, Janet Goodwin, Nancy Bentley, Brian Edwards, Anne Macmasters, Dale Bauer, Elizabeth Ammons, Judith Fryer, Cynthia Griffin Wolff, Linda Wagner Martin, Candace Waid and a ground-breaking piece on film adaptations of the novel by Brigette Peucker. A selected bibliography is included.