Shop now Shop Clothing clo_fly_aw15_NA_shoes Shop All Shop All Amazon Fashion Cloud Drive Photos Shop Amazon Fire TV Shop now Shop Fire HD 6 Shop Kindle Voyage Shop Now Shop now

Customer Reviews

75
4.4 out of 5 stars
The Age of Innocence (Wordsworth Classics)
Format: PaperbackChange
Price:£1.99+Free shipping with Amazon Prime
Your rating(Clear)Rate this item


There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.

on 11 May 2015
A very moving story which resonated feelings of mystery and longing. I was kept captivated from start to the finish.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
on 30 March 2015
A great novel and I found it amusing. A very good representation of life in New York in the early 20th century
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
on 18 May 2015
I enjoyed it more than I thought I would although very much of its era so if you like this sort of thing.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
7 of 11 people found the following review helpful
on 27 November 2000
When I picked up this book I knew I was in for a treat but nothing prepares you for this ride! The descriptions of the characters alone helped hold the fascinating plot together. Newlands love and responsibility is mirrored in American society at the time. The ending is particularly heart warming yet you somehow want to carry on reading more about the lives of the characters you have become to love.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 10 August 1998
Few books are able to capture the depressing truth in societies marked by "women in white and fellows with tennis balls". (that quote's from the musical Ragtime). It is a soul-wrenching, and enlightening book; and one will look upon society in a different way after reading it.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
on 3 March 2015
A really wonderful book, I absolutely loved it.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on 24 November 2013
I was a bit disappointed with this novel, which is odd given that popular opinion has it that this might be the author's best work. I would beg to differ on that point. I have read a couple of Edith Wharton's other books and really enjoyed them but this one just did not seem to be in the same league. I did not much like the character of Newland Archer, who I found weak and shallow, and as he is the main character, that inevitably made it harder to enjoy the books a whole. For a while, I hoped he might run off with Countess Olenska, who is another character I found it difficult to sympathise with, despite Wharton's best efforts. This is a novel set among the 'society' set of late 19th century New York and the characters are all a bit snobbish and vacuous, which is to be expected, there would be no story if this were not the case. Yet, while that plot device works beautifully in Wharton's book 'House of Mirth' it seems a bit tired in this particular novel. I know that people's lives were more constrained in the past than they are now but that did not diminish my frustration with this book. For me, even the character of May, who manages to be both wholesome and scheming, could not save this from being a dull and disappointing read.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
on 29 August 2014
Great book and excellent customer service
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
The book begins with wit and irony, as Edith Wharton describes the small élite of New York society in the early 1870s. They lived within a whole series of well-understood conventions and assumptions which included nice and minute distinctions within the social hierarchy, a censorious and gossipy attitude towards any member of the set who strayed from what was expected of them in the manners, appropriate cultural interests, dress and furniture, and relations between the sexes. Those who were felt not to conform, such as the American-born Countess Olenska who had returned from Europe, leaving her husband and intending to divorce him, imperilled the reputation of their entire families. In that society, young unmarried women, in particular, were brought up in ignorance of the ways of the world, into which they were initiated only after their marriage. Until then, theirs was the age of innocence of the title.

That is the state in which May Welland was when she was engaged to Newland Archer. May Welland belonged to the same family as the Countess. They were cousins and the granddaughters of the powerful and wealthy matriarch, Mrs Mingott, a pivotal and superbly drawn character, both as to her personality and to her vast appearance. Newland was in a dilemma: he had really shared all the assumptions of his class; but now, to protect his fiancée, he felt he had both to defend the Countess and to dissuade her from going ahead with the divorce. The Countess is `unconventional' in other ways: she consorts with artists, who never mix with the social élite of New York, and she claims the right as a woman to live her own life. She is also very attractive, and Newland, in taking her side, not only finds himself unaccustomedly critical of the conventions in which he has been brought up, but falls in love with her, as she does with him. Then of course he wants her to divorce her husband so that they can marry, though he is engaged to May. The Countess thinks this impossible - perhaps out of loyalty to her cousin May (though this is not made explicit at the time); and Newland then does in fact feel bound to marry May, though he already feels the dread that he would be sucked into the conventional life which he was beginning to find stifling.

May's interests and attitudes indeed turned out to be much the same as those of the society into which she had been born (though she was no fool, understood more than her innocent air suggested, and knew how to use the coded language which said so much more than its surface would suggest). After a year and a half of marriage, Newland was just getting used again to the world in which he had after all also spent most of his earlier life, when the Countess Olenska reappeared in his life. Their love for each other has never died down, but they are no nearer to being able to make a life with each other: his code forbids divorce, and hers forbids the role of a mistress and the betrayal of other members of her family. And of the two, the enigmatic Countess is always the stronger and the saner one.

The strength of the tribe is irresistible, and it is brought out especially in the superlative description, both sardonic and touching, of the farewell dinner given, at May's insistence, in honour of the Countess' return to Europe.

A quarter of a century elapses between then and the last chapter of the book. This, too, is quite outstanding, describing not only how Newland`s family and public life had developed respectably in that time, but also what changes had come over New York society in the interval. Newland's son Dallas is so much less inhibited than his father had been; the stuffy mores of his father's generation have long passed away. In the brief portrayal of Dallas and of the relationship between him and his father Edith Wharton again shows herself as both a brilliant social historian as well as a sophisticated novelist.
22 commentsWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
on 29 December 2014
Arrived in very good condition
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
     
 
Customers who viewed this item also viewed

Vanity Fair (Wordsworth Classics)
Vanity Fair (Wordsworth Classics) by William Makepeace Thackeray (Paperback - 5 May 1992)
£1.99

The House of Mirth (Wordsworth Classics)
The House of Mirth (Wordsworth Classics) by Edith Wharton (Paperback - 5 Feb. 2002)
£1.99
 
     

Send us feedback

How can we make Amazon Customer Reviews better for you?
Let us know here.