The Age of Innocence
The Age of Innocence
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The Age of Innocence is Edith Wharton's twelfth novel, initially serialized in four parts in the Pictorial Review magazine in 1920, and later released by D. Appleton and Company as a book in New York and in London. It won the 1921 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction, making it the first novel written by a woman to win the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction, and thus Wharton the first woman to win the prize.The story is set in upper-class New York City in the 1870s.
Governor, and of which Mr. van der Luyden was still “Patroon.” Their large solemn house in Madison Avenue was seldom opened, and when they came to town they received in it only their most intimate friends. “I wish you would go with me, Newland,” his mother said, suddenly pausing at the door of the Brown coupé. “Louisa is fond of you; and of course it’s on account of dear May that I’m taking this step—and also because, if we don’t all stand together, there’ll be no such thing as Society left.”
have talked the case over, I will give you my opinion.” Archer withdrew reluctantly with the unwelcome documents. Since their last meeting he had half-unconsciously collaborated with events in ridding himself of the burden of Madame Olenska. His hour alone with her by the firelight had drawn them into a momentary intimacy on which the Duke of St. Austrey’s intrusion with Mrs. Lemuel Struthers, and the Countess’s joyous greeting of them, had rather providentially broken. Two days later Archer had
Rushworth was “that kind of woman”; foolish, vain, clandestine by nature, and far more attracted by the secrecy and peril of the affair than by such charms and qualities as he possessed. When the fact dawned on him it nearly broke his heart, but now it seemed the redeeming feature of the case. The affair, in short, had been of the kind that most of the young men of his age had been through, and emerged from with calm consciences and an undisturbed belief in the abysmal distinction between the
flowers, which will surprise her when she reappears.” Winsett remained on his feet. “I’m afraid I must be off. Please tell Madame Olenska that we shall all feel lost when she abandons our street. This house has been an oasis.” “Ah, but she won’t abandon you. Poetry and art are the breath of life to her. It is poetry you write, Mr. Winsett?” “Well, no; but I sometimes read it,” said Winsett, including the group in a general nod and slipping out of the room. “A caustic spirit—un peu sauvage.
wound a long veil about her hat, but it left her face uncovered, and Archer was struck by the tranquil gaiety of her expression. She seemed to take their adventure as a matter of course, and to be neither in fear of unexpected encounters, nor (what was worse) unduly elated by their possibility. In the bare dining room of the inn, which he had hoped they would have to themselves, they found a strident party of innocent-looking young men and women—school-teachers on a holiday, the landlord told