The Age of Innocence

The Age of Innocence

A Novel of Ironic Nostaglia

Book - 1996
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Edith Wharton's The Age of Innocence has captivated generations of American readers since it won the 1921 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction. Subtle, ironic, and superbly crafted, Wharton's masterwork is a vivid portrait of late-19th-century New York society. The author's keen observations of the restrictive social mores and the position of women in 19th-century America is underscored by the compelling tale of one man's inability to achieve true happiness with the woman he loves.
The novel's popularity endures as the story captures the reader's imagination with the sheer romance of the complicated, yet realistic portrayal of the marriage of Newland Archer to May Welland, and of his love for May's cousin, Ellen Olenska.
In this volume - the first devoted exclusively to The Age of Innocence - Linda Wagner-Martin not only examines the historical and social influences of Wharton's time, but also incorporates extended analyses of the novel itself. Wagner-Martin devotes a chapter to each of the principal characters and considers the story from each character's distinctive viewpoint.
She also considers The Age of Innocence from several literary perspectives - as a "novel of manners," as a "traditional" novel, and as a "modern" novel. Wagner-Martin traces the critical response to The Age of Innocence, from publication to the present, and examines the novel's importance in the American literary canon. A chronology of Wharton's life and literary career and an extensive bibliography further enhance this study.
The combination of Wagner-Martin's sophisticated and wide-ranging critical perspective and impeccable scholarship makes The Age of Innocence: A Novel of Ironic Nostalgia an invaluable reference.
Publisher: New York : Twayne Publishers, ©1996.
ISBN: 9780805746167
Branch Call Number: 813 WHARTON
Characteristics: xvi, 122 pages : illustrations ; 22 cm.


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