The Age of Innocence Author:Edith Wharton Set in turn-of-the-century New York, Edith Wharton's classic novel The Age of Innocence reveals a society governed by the dictates of taste and form, manners and morals, and intricate social ceremonies. With amazing clarity and sensitivity, Edith Wharton re-creates an atmosphere in which subtle gestures and faint implications bespeak desire ... more »and emotion, in which beauty and innocence are valued above truth, and in which disturbing the social order disturbs the very foundations of one's identity.
Newland Archer, soon to marry the lovely May Welland, is a man torn between his respect for tradition and family and his attraction to May's strongly independent cousin, the Countess Ellen Olenska. Plagued by the desire to live in a world where two people can love each other free from condemnation and judgment by the group, Newland views the artful delicacy of the world he lives in as a comforting security one moment, and at another, as an oppressive fiction masking true human nature.
The Age of Innocence is at once a richly drawn portrait of the elegant lifestyles, luxurious brownstones, and fascinating culture of bygone New York society and a compelling look at the conflict between human passions and the social tribe that tries to control them.« less
If you saw and enjoyed the movie, you'll love the book. The movie focused on food and the American caste system as it existed in NY in the 1900s. The book has little to contribute relative to the food, but provides some of the background psyche as well as customs of the era. A delightful read and titillating in it's undertone.
this was an interesting visit to another era. A glimpse of a world as it begins to change. I was saddened that I wasn't able to see the true love blossom, but happy to see characters behaving with consideration of others.