Synopses & Reviews
The four novellas collected here, by the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of The Age of Innocence,
brilliantly capture New York of the 1840s, '50s, '60s, and '70s. Originally published in 1924, this outstanding quartet includes False Dawn,
about a rocky father/son relationship; The Old Maid,
the best known of the four, in which a young woman's hidden illegitimate child is adoted by her best friend, with devastating results; The Spark,
involving a young man and his moral rehabilitation -- "sparked" by a chance encounter with Walt Whitman; and New Year's Day,
an O. Henryesque tale of a married woman suspected of adultery. Each reveals the codes and customs that ruled society of the time, drawn with the perspicacious eye and style that is uniquely Edith Wharton's.
Pocket Books' enriched Classics present the great works of world literature enhanced for the contemporary reader. This valume reprints the orginal New York Times Book Review feature on Old New York, a piece that helps fix the stories in the contemporary critical landscape. Also included are critical perspectives, suggestions for further reading, and a visual essay composed of authentic period illustrations and photographs.
Includes "Critical excerpts" (p. 297-306) and bibliographical references (p. 307-308).
From the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of "The Age of Innocence" and "The House of Mirth" come four masterful short novels of 19th-century New York that reveal, with subtle irony, the customs, and tribal codes that ruled Society. Novellas include "False Dawn, The Old Maid, The Spark, " and "New Year's Day." Includes a new Introduction and critical essays.
About the Author
Edith Wharton was the first woman to win a Pulitzer Prize, for The Age of Innocence. Born in 1862 into one of New York's older and richer families, she was educated here and abroad. Her works include Ethan Frome, The Reef, The Custom of the Country, The Glimpses of the Moon, and Roman Fever and Other Stories. As a keen observer and chronicler of society, she is without peer. Edith Wharton died in France in 1937.
Table of Contents
Mrs. Wharton looks at society (The New York Times Book Review, May 18, 1924 -- False dawn -- The old maid -- The spark -- New Year's Day -- Critical exerpts -- Suggestions for further reading.