The Age of Innocence,
Edith Wharton’s most famous novel, is a love story, written immediately
after the end of the First World War. Its brilliant anatomization of
the snobbery and hypocrisy of the wealthy elite of New York society in
the 1870s made it an instant classic, and it won the Pulitzer Prize in
Newland Archer, Wharton’s protagonist, is charming, tactful,
enlightened—a thorough product of this society. He accepts its standards
and abides by its rules, but he also recognizes its limitations. His
engagement to the impeccable May Welland assures him of a safe and
conventional future, until the arrival of May’s cousin Ellen Olenska.
Independent, free-thinking, and scandalously separated from her husband,
Ellen forces Archer to question the values and assumptions of his
narrow world. As their love for each other grows, Archer has to decide
where his ultimate loyalty lies. Download and start listening now!