The Age of Innocence cover

The Age of Innocence

Edith Wharton (1862-1937)

00:00(1/34) 01 - Book 1, Chapter 0100:00
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1. 01 - Book 1, Chapter 01
2. 02 - Book 1, Chapter 02
3. 03 - Book 1, Chapter 03
4. 04 - Book 1, Chapter 04
5. 05 - Book 1, Chapter 05
6. 06 - Book 1, Chapter 06
7. 07 - Book 1, Chapter 07
8. 08 - Book 1, Chapter 08
9. 09 - Book 1, Chapter 09
10. 10 - Book 1, Chapter 10
11. 11 - Book 1, Chapter 11
12. 12 - Book 1, Chapter 12
13. 13 - Book 1, Chapter 13
14. 14 - Book 1, Chapter 14
15. 15 - Book 1, Chapter 15
16. 16 - Book 1, Chapter 16
17. 17 - Book 1, Chapter 17
18. 18 - Book 1, Chapter 18
19. 19 - Book 2, Chapter 19
20. 20 - Book 2, Chapter 20
21. 21 - Book 2, Chapter 21
22. 22 - Book 2, Chapter 22
23. 23 - Book 2, Chapter 23
24. 24 - Book 2, Chapter 24
25. 25 - Book 2, Chapter 25
26. 26 - Book 2, Chapter 26
27. 27 - Book 2, Chapter 27
28. 28 - Book 2, Chapter 28
29. 29 - Book 2, Chapter 29
30. 30 - Book 2, Chapter 30
31. 31 - Book 2, Chapter 31
32. 32 - Book 2, Chapter 32
33. 33 - Book 2, Chapter 33
34. 34 - Book 2, Chapter 34

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Genres

Summary

If you've watched and loved Winona Ryder playing the innocent May Welland in the 1993 film adaptation of Edith Wharton's sweeping novel about class-consciousness in nineteenth century America, you will certainly enjoy reading the original. Though Martin Scorcese's brilliant work was certainly true to the spirit of the original novel, no film can reproduce the charm of language and turn of phrase employed by one of America's greatest writers. The Age of Innocence was Edith Wharton's 12th novel and is located in familiar Wharton territory. The genteel snobbery of the upper classes with its underlying cruelty and heartless judgments passed on those who cross the line is wonderfully depicted in The Age of Innocence. The story opens at a glittering music concert, featuring the wonderful opera singer Christine Nilsson singing Faust at the Music Academy in New York. In the high-society club boxes, the leading lights of New York society train their opera glasses on the crowd, occasionally throwing a sniping remark or two. Newland Archer, a young, handsome, wealthy lawyer whose privileged background is matched only by that of his new fiancée, May Welland. As the self satisfied and complacent Archer surveys the crowd in the opera theater, he overhears two men gossiping about a lady who has just entered a nearby opera box. She is Ellen Olenska, the recent widow of a Polish count, who had shocked society a few years earlier by first marrying a complete outsider and then running away from him to live alone in various cities across Europe. For Archer, the issue is complicated by the fact that Ellen is his beloved May's first cousin. What follows has a devastating impact on the lives of everyone who is connected with the cousins. The story traces the roots of social prejudices and is an absolutely frank and fearless look at the hypocrisy, double standards and betrayals that people indulge in, in the name of “good form.” The Age of Innocence is filled with memorable characters like the elderly gossip Sillerton Jackson, who is not just considered to be an authority on “families” but also possesses an indelible memory about every single scandal and mystery that has occurred in the claustrophobic Manhattan society of the day. The Age of Innocence won the Pulitzer Prize in 1921 and takes its title from a famous eighteenth century English painting by Joshua Reynolds. It was initially serialized in 1920 in the Pictorial Review magazine, but later compiled into a book and published in the following year. As a ruthless and bitter commentary on the social mores of the day, The Age of Innocence is certainly an insightful book to enjoy.

Reviews

Niko

- Highly recommended

The reader's recording quality was of an excellent, consistent quality overall and I enjoyed the fact that some voice acting was performed for the dialogue instead of a flat line delivery; it helped differentiate between characters quite nicely.

Mia

- Review

Beautifully read - Elizabeth Klett reads with feeling and clarity. Thank you Elizabeth Klett! I thoroughly enjoyed listening to this book.

Carolyn

- Excellent book

I listened to the pod casts and the reader was great. I really enjoyed the book.

Very enjoyable reading of a favorite book

Lara

- Thank you!

The expressivity and clarity make the book very enjoyable to read. Beautiful job!

JEM

- Excellent

Well read, interesting character development and depiction of society at that time.

A.K.

- Good reader

It was a nicely read book. Elizabeth Klett was once again brilliant but the book was boring and very difficult to follow. The love story was so shallow,it had no strength and no passion whatsoever.