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Ultimately, within the rich comforts of the smug Social Register set there is no indulgence for an independently operating female, especially a "foreign" one, even if she's family. Newland Archer, engaged then married to the embodiment of NYC perfection in young women, May Wellend, is the starch stiff representative of the best young man NYC can produce until Ellen Olenska, his bride's cousin and herself a woman married but separated from her European husband, arrives.

What ensues is a sustained waltz of suppressed emotions within and between Newland and Ellen that are buried under the weight of their conventionality, in his case; moral compunctions, in hers; and the manipulative pressures of their kin and friends determined to maintain the glass smooth surface of appearances against their ambitions to upset the status quo. Everyone's efforts to protect others from the truth and probably harm, to preserve their individual and collective innocence, devolves ironically into an age of conspiracy.

Faithful in his body to his wife, Newland divorces himself from her emotionally and spends his "real" life sequestered among his books and memories inside his library. Faithful to her principles, Ellen eventually divorces herself from Newland's presence when she returns to Europe, unable to sustain an existence among those who initially embrace her then subtly push her out of the "tribe. The action is entirely domestic, consisting of meetings in homes, at dinner parties, balls, operas, and stolen moments in carriages and aboard steamers.

It is largely internal action that raises tension when the pair break small societal rules, yet are never quite able to sever the restraints that tie them to earlier commitments. The tension spirals upward only to collapse on itself as Newland is incapable of decision and Ellen is disinclined to make him choose. Wharton's novel is atmospheric, period perfect, and damning in the most polite and socially acceptable way. Put it on your Must Read List.

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The Age of Innocence (Barnes & Noble Classics)

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הסופר Edith Wharton

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Average rating: 4. Edith Wharton; Maureen Howard. Walmart Tell us if something is incorrect. Out of stock.

The Age of Innocence: Original and Unabridged

Get In-Stock Alert. Delivery not available. Pickup not available. Product Highlights About This Item We aim to show you accurate product information. Manufacturers, suppliers and others provide what you see here, and we have not verified it. See our disclaimer. Winner of the Pulitzer Prize, The Age of Innocence is Wharton's masterful portrait of desire and betrayal during the sumptuous Golden Age of old New York, a time when society people dreaded scandal more than disease.

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Average rating: 1 out of 5 stars, based on reviews. I am not a fan of Edith Wharton. This book was required reading and bored me to tears. For the most part it felt that nothing was really going on, and while I don't remember specific details nearly 10 years later, I remember that by the time I finished it I was relieved and also hated it. I have never recommended this one to anyone and am usually surprised by those who sing Wharton's praises. It was just too exhausting. Average rating: 5 out of 5 stars, based on 0 reviews. Written by a customer while visiting librarything.

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The Age of Innocence (Audio Book) by Edith Wharton ch 1-5

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