The Age of Innocence Criticism

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At the time of The Age of Innocence's publication, Wharton was already a well-respected author. Her readers and critics expected much of her, and they were generally impressed with her new novel. They found the characters realistic and interesting, and Wharton's ability to capture the details, mood, and rigors of New York society life was praised by readers and literary critics alike. In a 1920 New York Times Book Review, William Lyon Phelps applauds the novel, noting, "I do not remember when I have read a work of fiction that gives the reader so vivid an idea of the furnishing and illuminating of rooms in fashionable houses as one will find in The Age of Innocence." He adds, "New York society and customs in the seventies are described with an accuracy that is almost uncanny."

Besides providing a vibrant piece of social history, Wharton's novel told a compelling...

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This section contains 718 words
(approx. 2 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy The Age of Innocence Study Guide
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Novels for Students
The Age of Innocence from Novels for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.
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