HomeGroupsTalkZeitgeist
Big news! LibraryThing is now free to all! Read the blog post and discuss the change on Talk.
dismiss
This site uses cookies to deliver our services, improve performance, for analytics, and (if not signed in) for advertising. By using LibraryThing you acknowledge that you have read and understand our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy. Your use of the site and services is subject to these policies and terms.
Hide this

Results from Google Books

Click on a thumbnail to go to Google Books.

Loading...

The Age of Innocence (1920)

by Edith Wharton

Other authors: See the other authors section.

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
11,472258393 (4.02)5 / 1034
An elegant portrait of desire and betrayal in Old New York. In the highest circle of New York social life during the 1870's, Newland Archer, a young lawyer, prepares to marry the docile May Welland. Before their engagement is announced, he meets May's cousin, the mysterious, nonconformist Countess Ellen Olenska, who has returned to New York after a long absence. Archer's world is always changing.… (more)
  1. 62
    Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë (readerbabe1984)
  2. 40
    The American by Henry James (2below)
    2below: Similar plot and themes--both deal with the issue of being an outsider. I find James' prose a bit more vigorous than Wharton's.
  3. 41
    The Bostonians by Henry James (jbvm)
  4. 31
    The Beautiful and Damned by F. Scott Fitzgerald (TineOliver)
    TineOliver: Both look at love and marriage in the upper classes of New York society (however, at different time periods)
  5. 42
    Rebecca by Daphne Du Maurier (readerbabe1984)
  6. 31
    Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy (roby72)
  7. 10
    The Needle's Eye by Margaret Drabble (kitzyl)
    kitzyl: An embittered lawyer in a loveless coupling attends a social gathering where he is drawn to an enigmatic riches-to-rags woman, whose broken marriage has made her a social outcast. Explores the rigid ideas of morality in the 70s (a century apart) enforced by wealth/class. Woman has a "Olde Shabby Riche"-ly decorated house where the man immediately feels at home.… (more)
  8. 10
    The Europeans by Henry James (thatguyzero)
  9. 11
    The French Lieutenant's Woman by John Fowles (kitzyl)
    kitzyl: Man engaged to conventional society finds himself attracted to an outcast who challenges the rigidity and hypocrisy of the era.
  10. 34
    Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë (readerbabe1984)
  11. 01
    The Return of the Soldier by Rebecca West (amanda4242)
1920s (6)
Loading...

Sign up for LibraryThing to find out whether you'll like this book.

English (248)  Spanish (4)  French (2)  Dutch (1)  Portuguese (Portugal) (1)  Italian (1)  German (1)  All languages (258)
Showing 1-5 of 248 (next | show all)
The worst of doing one's duty was that it apparently unfitted one for doing anything else. At least that was the view that the men of his generation had taken. The trenchant divisions between right and wrong, honest and dishonest, respectable and the reverse, had left so little scope for the unforeseen. There are moments when a man's imagination, so easily subdued to what it lives in, suddenly rises above its daily level, and surveys the long windings of destiny.

Brutal gut punch. Everyone is constrained by social pressure. I found myself thinking of Emerson and his exhortations to resist conformity. If only Newland Archer had read Emerson! ( )
  drbrand | Jul 17, 2020 |
light - unspoken ( )
  farrhon | Jul 4, 2020 |
If no more than background reading on the state of society in America and in particular NY in this period and the way in which it compared with Europe - and compared itself with Europe, a different thing again - The Age of Innocence is a splendid thing. I take issue with Paul Bryant's complaints about her material descriptions of the world she describes - I believe they are supposed to be part of her ironic portrait her characters and their setting. She is revealing what is important to them, not to her. One wonders, however, if Pinterest will have an app some time where one can key in words and out come pictures. I'd do that with this book. I have read that interior design was very important to Wharton. I still don't think that affects what the point of it is in the book.

But the book is, of course, more than this. There is the story and the morality of the situation she constructs. What Wharton does which is so diabolically clever is that she talks of the powerlessness of women - and this is through the eyes of an independent, single, wealthy young man, Newland Archer - only to make it clear as the story develops that it is the women who are in charge. It is almost comic to see the way the hero charges about thinking that he is affecting the course of history when in fact it is the women who are doing that. Well, it would be comic if it weren't awfully sad. Every time he thinks he is going to do the renegade thing and take off with his true love, a women 'stops' this from happening. Obviously not literally for he could always decide to rise above that, but he is never brave enough to. In the end he cannot rise above the thing that he thinks he is above - 'what other people think'.

Rest here:

https://alittleteaalittlechat.wordpress.com/2016/02/03/the-age-of-innocence-by-e...
( )
  bringbackbooks | Jun 16, 2020 |
If no more than background reading on the state of society in America and in particular NY in this period and the way in which it compared with Europe - and compared itself with Europe, a different thing again - The Age of Innocence is a splendid thing. I take issue with Paul Bryant's complaints about her material descriptions of the world she describes - I believe they are supposed to be part of her ironic portrait her characters and their setting. She is revealing what is important to them, not to her. One wonders, however, if Pinterest will have an app some time where one can key in words and out come pictures. I'd do that with this book. I have read that interior design was very important to Wharton. I still don't think that affects what the point of it is in the book.

But the book is, of course, more than this. There is the story and the morality of the situation she constructs. What Wharton does which is so diabolically clever is that she talks of the powerlessness of women - and this is through the eyes of an independent, single, wealthy young man, Newland Archer - only to make it clear as the story develops that it is the women who are in charge. It is almost comic to see the way the hero charges about thinking that he is affecting the course of history when in fact it is the women who are doing that. Well, it would be comic if it weren't awfully sad. Every time he thinks he is going to do the renegade thing and take off with his true love, a women 'stops' this from happening. Obviously not literally for he could always decide to rise above that, but he is never brave enough to. In the end he cannot rise above the thing that he thinks he is above - 'what other people think'.

Rest here:

https://alittleteaalittlechat.wordpress.com/2016/02/03/the-age-of-innocence-by-e...
( )
  bringbackbooks | Jun 16, 2020 |
If no more than background reading on the state of society in America and in particular NY in this period and the way in which it compared with Europe - and compared itself with Europe, a different thing again - The Age of Innocence is a splendid thing. I take issue with Paul Bryant's complaints about her material descriptions of the world she describes - I believe they are supposed to be part of her ironic portrait her characters and their setting. She is revealing what is important to them, not to her. One wonders, however, if Pinterest will have an app some time where one can key in words and out come pictures. I'd do that with this book. I have read that interior design was very important to Wharton. I still don't think that affects what the point of it is in the book.

But the book is, of course, more than this. There is the story and the morality of the situation she constructs. What Wharton does which is so diabolically clever is that she talks of the powerlessness of women - and this is through the eyes of an independent, single, wealthy young man, Newland Archer - only to make it clear as the story develops that it is the women who are in charge. It is almost comic to see the way the hero charges about thinking that he is affecting the course of history when in fact it is the women who are doing that. Well, it would be comic if it weren't awfully sad. Every time he thinks he is going to do the renegade thing and take off with his true love, a women 'stops' this from happening. Obviously not literally for he could always decide to rise above that, but he is never brave enough to. In the end he cannot rise above the thing that he thinks he is above - 'what other people think'.

Rest here:

https://alittleteaalittlechat.wordpress.com/2016/02/03/the-age-of-innocence-by-e...
( )
  bringbackbooks | Jun 16, 2020 |
Showing 1-5 of 248 (next | show all)
A larger life and more tolerant views: That’s the greatest promise the novel holds out to us, and it’s as necessary now as it was when Edith Wharton put it into words.
added by danielx | editNew York Times, Elif Batuman (Nov 1, 2019)
 

» Add other authors (92 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Wharton, Edithprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Auchincloss, LouisIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Dayne, BrendaNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Horovitch, DavidNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Howard, MaureenIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Johnson, DianeIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Lewis, R.W.B.Introductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Lively, PenelopeIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Negri, PietroTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Orgel, StephenIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Pisani, TommasoIntroduzionesecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Quinn, Laura Dluzynskisecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Raver, LornaNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Shore, StephenPhotographersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Smith, Lawrence BeallIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Waid, CandaceIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Wolff, Cynthia GriffinIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
You must log in to edit Common Knowledge data.
For more help see the Common Knowledge help page.
Series (with order)
Canonical title
Original title
Alternative titles
Original publication date
People/Characters
Important places
Important events
Related movies
Awards and honors
Epigraph
Dedication
First words
On a January evening of the early seventies, Christine Nilsson was singing in Faust at the Academy of Music in New York.
Quotations
And he felt himself oppressed by this creation of factitious purity, so cunningly manufactured by a conspiracy of mothers and aunts and grandmothers and long-dead ancestresses, because it was supposed to be what he wanted, what he had a right to, in order that he might exercise his lordly pleasure in smashing it like an image made of snow.
It was the old New York way of taking life" without effusion of blood": the way of people who dreaded scandal more than disease, who placed decency above courage, and who considered that nothing was more ill-bred than "scenes", except the behavior of those who gave rise to them.
When he thought of Ellen Olenska it was abstractly, serenely, as one might think of some imaginary beloved in a book or a picture: she had become the composite vision of all that he had missed.
That terrifying product of the social system he belonged to and believed in, the young girl who knew nothing and expected everything, looked back at him like a stranger through May Welland's familiar features; and once more it was borne in on him that marriage was not the safe anchorage he had been taught to think, but a voyage on uncharted seas.
"No," she acquiesced; and her tone was so faint and desolate that he felt a sudden remorse for his own hard thoughts. "The individual, in such cases, is nearly always sacrificed to what is supposed to be the collective interest: people cling to any convention that keeps the family together--protects the children, if there are any," he rambled on, pouring out all the stock phrases that rose to his lips in his intense desire to cover over the ugly reality which her silence seemed to have laid bare.
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice
Publisher's editors
Blurbers
Publisher series
Original language
Canonical DDC/MDS

References to this work on external resources.

Wikipedia in English (2)

No library descriptions found.

Book description
In the conformist, closed world of upper-class New York, Newland Archer anticipates his marriage to May Welland, a young girl "who knew nothing and expected everything". Into this ordered arrangement bursts May's cousin, Ellen, the mysterious and exotic Countess Olenska, on the run from an appallingly unhappy marriage. She alternately captivates and outrages the New York milieu and, as Newland's sympathy for her deepens into love, he not only gains insight into the brutality of society's treatment of women, but discovers the real anguish of loving outside its rules. Critical, compassionate, and acutely perceptive about both the individual and the defensiveness of society, The Age of Innocence is perhaps Edith Wharton's finest work.
Haiku summary
One rule to chain them:
Conventions trump love, trump hate,
Freedom for safety.
(DeusXMachina)

Quick Links

Popular covers

Rating

Average: (4.02)
0.5 3
1 21
1.5 4
2 105
2.5 15
3 416
3.5 100
4 894
4.5 128
5 764

Penguin Australia

An edition of this book was published by Penguin Australia.

» Publisher information page

Tantor Media

An edition of this book was published by Tantor Media.

» Publisher information page

Recorded Books

An edition of this book was published by Recorded Books.

» Publisher information page

Urban Romantics

2 editions of this book were published by Urban Romantics.

Editions: 1909438820, 1909438839

Is this you?

Become a LibraryThing Author.

 

About | Contact | Privacy/Terms | Help/FAQs | Blog | Store | APIs | TinyCat | Legacy Libraries | Early Reviewers | Common Knowledge | 148,941,764 books! | Top bar: Always visible