The Age of Innocence
Read by Laurel Lefkow
‘The real loneliness is living among all these kind people who only ask one to pretend!’ Awarded the 1921 Pulitzer Prize (the first to be presented to a woman), Edith Wharton’s The Age of Innocence is a powerful depiction of love and desire in New York’s glamorous Gilded Age. When Newland Archer, happily engaged to May Welland, meets his fiancée’s cousin Ellen, his entire future is cast into doubt: strong-willed, witty, and entirely unpretentious, Ellen is unlike any woman he has ever met. He is torn between his infatuation for her and his duty to marry May. In subtle and elegant language, Wharton delivers a critical look at the social mores of the time.
Running Time: 11 h 8 m
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ISBN: 978-1-84379-978-8 Digital ISBN: 978-1-84379-979-5 Cat. no.: NA0234 CD RRP: $59.98 USD Download size: 167 MB Produced by: Hilary Field, Genevieve Helsby Edited by: Daniel Murguialday BISAC: FIC004000
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Edith Wharton was looking back to her own innocence when in 1920, in her late fifties, she wrote The Age of Innocence, a story of the cracks that were beginning to appear in old-fashioned fin de siècle New York society. Newland Archer is about to be married when his fiancée’s cousin returns to New York, in search of a divorce from her abusive Polish husband, and his complacent, sedate world rocks on its pedestal. In the best Brief Encounter tradition, the lovers fight their feelings, little realising that their passion is well-understood by their nearest and dearest. It won the Pulitzer prize for fiction, the first awarded to a woman author, and it still has a haunting ‘road not taken’ quality that leaves the listener musing on might-have-beens. Laurel Lefkow, who can sound marvellously raunchy reading such titles as The Devil Wears Prada, adopts a precise well-behaved diction perfectly matched to the novel.
Christina Hardyment, The Times