431. THE AGE OF INNOCENCE . EDITH WHARTON
THE AGE OF INNOCENCE
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The Age of Innocence is a 1920 novel by Edith Wharton. It was her twelfth novel, and won the 1921 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction, making Wharton the first woman to win the prize.
The story is set in the 1870s, in upper-class, “Gilded-Age” New York City.
The Age of Innocence centers on an upper-class couple’s impending marriage, and the introduction of the bride’s cousin, plagued by scandal, whose presence threatens their happiness. Though the novel questions the assumptions and morals of 1870s New York society, it never develops into an outright condemnation of the institution. The novel is noted for Wharton’s attention to detail and its accurate portrayal of how the 19th-century East Coast American upper class lived, as well as for the social tragedy of its plot.