Author(s): Edith Wharton
Introduction and Notes by Stuart Hutchinson, University of Kent at Canterbury Widely regarded as one of Edith Wharton's greatest achievements, The Age of Innocence is not only subtly satirical, but also a sometimes dark and disturbing comedy of manners in its exploration of the 'eternal triangle' of love. Set against the backdrop of upper-class New York society during the 1870s, the author's combination of powerful prose combined with a thoroughly researched and meticulous evocation of the manners and style of the period, has delighted readers since the novel's first publication in 1920. In 1921 'The Age of Innocence' achieved a double distinction - it won the Pulitzer Prize and it was the first time this prestigious award had been won by a woman author. AUTHOR: Edith Wharton (1862 -1937) was an American writer, and winner of the Pulitzer Prize in 1921, the first woman to do so. She was a popular novelist and short-story writer during her lifetime, although in the years following her death she came to be viewed as rather old-fashioned. Subsequent reappraisal of her work has established 'The House of Mirth', 'Ethan Frome' and 'The Age of Innocence' as classic American novels, and her excellent ghost stories have found a new audience.