Initially serialized in the Pictorial Review in 1920, The Age of Innocence is a stylistic and intimate portrayal of upper class life in New York City during the Gilded Age.
Lawyer and socialite Newland Archer is about to enter a loveless marriage with a well-to-do bride, when her cousin, the exotic Ellen Olenska, enters the picture. Olenska is stuck in a bad marriage with a Polish count, and Archer finds himself in the awkward position of persuading her to save her family's reputation by staying with her husband, even though Archer himself has fallen in love with her.
Combining a romantic tragedy with artful descriptions of aristocratic life in New York City, Edith Wharton's twelfth novel is now available as an elegantly designed clothbound edition with an elastic closure and a new introduction.
Laura Ciolkowski is Associate Director of the Institute for Research on Women, Gender, and Sexuality, and Adjunct Associate Professor of English & Comparative Literature at Columbia University. Her work on Victorian literature and culture has been published in numerous academic journals, including Studies in the Novel, Victorian Literature and Culture, Genders and Novel: A Forum on Fiction.