Edith Wharton was the first woman to win the Pulitzer Prize for Literature with this witty satire of New York's upper classes. This edition is introduced by award-winning novelist Rachel Cusk.
Edith Wharton was born in 1862 to a prominent and wealthy New York family. In 1885 she married Boston socialite 'Teddy' Wharton but the marriage was unhappy and they divorced in 1913. The couple travelled frequently to Europe and settled in France, where Wharton stayed until her death in 1937. Her first major novel was The House of Mirth (1905); many short stories, travel books, memoirs and novels followed, including Ethan Frome (1911) and The Reef (1912). She was the first woman to win the Pulitzer Prize for Literature with The Age of Innocence (1920) and she was thrice nominated for the Nobel Prize in Literature. She was also decorated for her humanitarian work during the First World War.
A great city's greatest novelist . . . Wharton's late masterpiece
stands as a fierce indictment of a society estranged from culture
and in desperate need of a European sensibility -- Robert McCrum *
It's a deliciously hard-edged satire of manners and customs . . . Wharton was not only ferociously witty and morally committed, she was also a great storyteller -- Vincent Canby * New York Times *
The Age of Innocence has as much in common with that popular Oprah-ish romance-rooted literary fashion as Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet does -- Patrick T. Reardon
Will writers ever recover that peculiar blend of security and alertness which characterizes Mrs Wharton and her tradition? -- E. M. Forster
Lucid, intelligent, and artful rather than arty; she is eloquent but never fussy, and always clear. She never seems to be writing well to show off -- Lionel Shriver