The Age of Innocence is a novel by Edith Wharton
about love, desire
, and social norms. It won the Pulitzer Prize
for fiction in 1921
The story is set in New York in the late 19th century, among the sumptuous gas-lit parlors of the upper-class. As it begins, protagonist Newland Archer is about to announce his engagement to the lovely May Welland. May's cousin, the Countess Olenska has also just arrived from Europe, fleeing a bad marriage.
Archer has a few small misgivings about his impending marriage, fearing that perhaps the sweet Miss Welland will not turn into the intellectually vibrant companion he would like her to be. Hence, he is a bit shaken and intrigued by Ellen Olenska, a colorful lady who finds herself a bit at odds with New York society due to her situation. Complications ensue...
A 1993 movie of the book was directed by Martin Scorsese, starring Daniel Day-Lewis as Newland Archer, Michelle Pfeiffer as Ellen Olenska, and Winona Ryder as May Welland.
The full text of the novel is available at:
The movie script is here: