One of Whartons most famous novelsthe first by a woman to win the Pulitzer Prizeexquisitely details a tragic struggle between love and responsibility in Gilded Age New York.
Newland Archer, an aristocratic young lawyer, is engaged to the cloistered, beautiful May Welland. But when Mays cousin Ellen arrives from Europe, fleeing her failed marriage to a Polish count, her worldly and independent nature intrigues and unsettles Archer. Trapped by his passionless relationship with May and the social conventions that forbid a relationship with the disgraced Ellen, Archer is torn between possibility and duty. Whartons profound understanding of her characters lives makes the triangle of Archer, May, and Ellen both urgent and poignant. An incisive look at the ways desire and emotion must negotiate the complex rules of society, The Age of Innocence is one of Whartons most moving works.