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: Winner of the 1921 Pulitzer Prize, The Age of Innocence is Edith Wharton's elegant portrait of desire and betrayal in Old New York. With vivid power, Wharton evokes a time of gaslit streets, formal dances held in the ballrooms of stately brownstones, and society people "who dreaded scandal more than disease." This is Newland Archer's world as he prepares to marry the docile May Welland. Then, suddenly, the mysterious, intensely nonconformist Countess Ellen Olenska returns to New York after a long absence and Newland Archer's world is never the same. Edith Wharton's classic tale of thwarted love is an exuberantly comic and profoundly moving look at the passions of the human heart. The San Francisco Examiner says, "Wharton's characters leap out from the pages and ... become very real. You know their hearts, souls, and yearnings, and the price they pay for those yearnings." An unforgettable comedy of manners and morals, The Age of Innocence is a literary achievement of the highest order.