The Age of Innocence

By Edith Wharton
Read by Lorna Raver

11.75 Hours 11/20/2007 unabridged
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Winner of the first Pulitzer Prize for literature ever awarded to a woman, The Age of Innocence is Edith Wharton’s elegant portrait of desire and betrayal in old New York. In the highest circle of New York social life during the 1870s, Newland Archer, a young lawyer, prepares to marry the docile May Welland. But before their engagement is announced, he meets the mysterious, nonconformist Countess Ellen Olenska, May’s cousin, who has returned to New York after a long absence. Ellen mirrors his own sense of disillusionment with society and the “good marriage” he is about to embark upon and provokes a moral struggle within him as he continues to go through the motions. A social commentary of surprising compassion and insight, The Age of Innocence toes the line between the comedy of manners and the tragedy of thwarted love.

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Summary

Summary

Winner of the Pulitzer Prize

Winner of the AudioFile Earphones Award

Winner of the first Pulitzer Prize for literature ever awarded to a woman, The Age of Innocence is Edith Wharton’s elegant portrait of desire and betrayal in old New York.

In the highest circle of New York social life during the 1870s, Newland Archer, a young lawyer, prepares to marry the docile May Welland. But before their engagement is announced, he meets the mysterious, nonconformist Countess Ellen Olenska, May’s cousin, who has returned to New York after a long absence. Ellen mirrors his own sense of disillusionment with society and the
“good marriage” he is about to embark upon and provokes a moral struggle within him as he continues to go through the motions.

A social commentary of surprising compassion and insight, The Age of Innocence toes the line between the comedy of manners and the tragedy of thwarted love.

Editorial Reviews

Editorial Reviews

“There is no woman in American literature as fascinating as the doomed Madame Olenska...Traditionally, Henry James has always been placed slightly higher up the slope of Parnassus than Edith Wharton. But now that the prejudice against the female writer is on the wane, they look to be exactly what they are: giants, equals, the tutelary and benign gods of our American literature.” Gore Vidal
“Wharton’s characters leap out from the pages and...become very real. You know their hearts, souls, and yearnings and the price they pay for those yearnings.” San Francisco Examiner
“Will writers ever recover that peculiar blend of security and alertness which characterizes Mrs. Wharton and her tradition?” E. M. Forster
“Eighty-five years after it won the Pulitzer Prize, Edith Wharton’s romantic novel remains as intriguing and captivating as ever. Unfortunately, its slow pace as it depicts turn-of-the-century New Yorkwill deter many of today’s readers. For this reason, this audio edition is a delight. By what seems to be some magic trick or secret ingredient, Lorna Raver manages to present distinctive and perfectly modulated voices for over a dozen characters. Some audio publishers might have been tempted to use multiple narrators. But Blackstone has enough faith in the words and pace of the novel itself to trust that this extremely perceptive single reader has all the tools she needs. Raver is not yet a household name in audiobooks, but she should be. Winner of AudioFile Earphones Award, NEA Big Read Selection.” AudioFile

Reviews

Reviews

Author

Author Bio: Edith Wharton

Edith Wharton (1862–1937) was born in New York and is best known for her stories of life among the upper-class society into which she was born. She was educated privately at home and in Europe. In 1894 she began writing fiction, and her novel The House of Mirth established her as a leading writer. Her novels The Age of Innocence and Old New York were each awarded the Pulitzer Prize. She was the first woman to receive that honor. In 1929 she was awarded the American Academy of Arts and Letters Gold Medal for Fiction.

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Details

Details

Available Formats : Digital Download, Digital Rental, CD, MP3 CD
Category: Fiction/Classics
Runtime: 11.75
Audience: Adult
Language: English