Friday, 3 July 2015

Beginnings and Teasers - 'The Age of Innocence' by Edith Wharton

The Age of Innocence It's been a busy week and I am once again back in London because apparently that is what I do nowadays, spend every weekend in London. I've got some reviews ready for next week, so hopefully my next week won't be as dry as this week has been. Today I'm using The Age of Innocence by Edith Wharton.
Newland Archer saw little to envy in the marriages of his friends, yet he prided himself that in May Welland he had found the companion of his needs--tender and impressionable, with equal purity of mind and manners. The engagement was announced discreetly, but all of New York society was soon privy to this most perfect match, a union of families and circumstances cemented by affection. 
        Enter Countess Olenska, a woman of quick wit sharpened by experience, not afraid to flout convention and determined to find freedom in divorce. Against his judgment, Newland is drawn to the socially ostracized Ellen Olenska, who opens his eyes and has the power to make him feel. He knows that in sweet-tempered May, he can expect stability and the steadying comfort of duty. But what new worlds could he discover with Ellen? Written with elegance and wry precision, Edith Wharton's Pulitzer Prize-winning masterpiece is a tragic love story and a powerful homily about the perils of a perfect marriage.
Book Beginnings and Friday 56 are hosted by Gilion at Rose City Reader and Freda at Freda's Voice respectively.

'On a January evening of the early seventies, Christine Nilsson was singing in Faust at the Academy of Music in New York. Though there was already talk of the erection, in remove metropolitan distances "above the Forties", of a new Opera House which should compete in costliness and splendour with those of the great European capitals, the world of fashion was still content to reassemble every winter in the shabby red and gold boxes of the sociable old Academy.' p.1
I like this beginning. You get a bit of a sense of this 'world of fashion'. And Wharton's writing style is simple beautiful! I can't wait to dig into this one.

'As he wrote a word on his card and waited for an envelope he glanced about the embowered shop, and his eye lit on a cluster of yellow roses. He had never seen any as sun-golden before, and his first impulse was to send them to May instead of the lilies. But they did not look like her - there was something too rich, too strong, in their fiery beauty.' p.56
I loved how this moment shifted in perspective. Initially you start focusing on 'him' writing, but then it moves to the flowers and from there to May. Also, the last sentence is absolutely beautiful, I'm not quite sure why. It just really is.

So, that was me done for today! What are you teasing?


  1. I haven't read any Edith Wharton, but now I want to. Lovely quotes.

  2. Fun writing! Happy Friday!
    Here is my Friday 56:

  3. I haven't yet read this book, but it is resting patiently on Pippa, my Kindle. I definitely need to read it soon. Thanks for sharing, and for visiting my blog.

  4. Oh, I haven't read this classic, but I agree, that last line is beautiful. Happy reading!

  5. Haven't read any Wharton. Sounds lovely though.
    Happy weekend!

  6. After I read this article , it seems quite interesting ya, do not forget awaited his new post master

  7. Here is yet another classic that is STILL in my TBR. Years. It's a shame I've not yet read this. The snippets are very descriptive and really let the reader soak it in!