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The Age of Innocence by Edith Wharton - 1st Edition - 1920 - from Bronze Anthology LLC (SKU: 9)

The Age of Innocence

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The Age of Innocence

by Edith Wharton

  • Used
  • hardcover
  • First
Very Good+/Missing
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Aurora, Colorado
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About This Item

The Age of Innocence - Edith Wharton (1st Edition, 1st Printing 1920 Hardcover)

*Please Note: In mid 2016, this book had minor work performed to mend a 1-inch detached tear at the spine head exposing the top of the textblock signatures that the previous owner attempted to mend or keep intact with scotch tape, all of which was removed and repaired. Some edge wear and nicks on the hardcovers were also touched up. The repair work was performed by Eidolon House, a notable bindery, to merely conserve the book and not fully restore it.*

A true 1st edition, 1st printing! Copyright 1920, published by Appleton and Company (New York). First printing with a (1) at the bottom of page 365 and page 186, line 7 reads "Forasmuch as it hath please Almighty God," with later printings having been changed to "Dearly beloved, we are gathered together here." No dust jacket is available. Deep red hardcovers have lightly bumped corners and edges, with only minor wear-through on the foreedge corners. A previous 1" x 1/2" fade on the front cover from a previous sticker was touched up during repair. There is minimal fading and nicks on the spine and wear to the hinges. The front pastedown has a ripple or thin-line bubble that resonates a wrinkle from the first page through page 25. The textblock has some smudges (primarily the foreedge) and light foxing. There was a nick to the top of the textblock that left nicks on the top of pages 339 to 365. Although the pages are lightly tanning, the binding is tight. A few pages have foxing at the corners and page 43-44 has a dog-ear, but there is no writing or markings in the book. Overall, this true first printing of this Pulitzer Prize winning classic is in Very Good Plus (VG+) condition. Please see the photos on this item or feel free to send us any questions you might have. We can send photos of the book before the work was done if desired. Also, we've included photos but if you need more, please contact us. Please note: this item will ship insured and require a signature upon delivery. Thank you for your interest in this item!


Edith Wharton’s The Age of Innocence is set in upper-class New York City in the 1870s, during the so-called Gilded Age. The novel, which takes its title from artist Joshua Reynolds’ 1785 painting of a little girl, focuses on impending marriage of an upper-class couple: Newland Archer, a distinguished lawyer, and the shy, but lovely May Welland. Enter the bride's cousin, Ellen Olenska, plagued by a scandalous separation from her European husband, a Polish count. The presence of Ellen, a classic femme fatale, threatens the happiness of Newland and May. However, May’s determination must not be undermined as she proceeds to use everything in her power to ensure her marriage to Newland. Though the novel questions the assumptions and morals of the Gilded Age, it never explicitly condemns the era.  …And perhaps it should have. The Age of Innocence won the 1921 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction, making Wharton the first woman to win the prize; however, upon being awarded the honor, the novel was praised as “best present[ing] the wholesome atmosphere of American life and the highest standard of American manners and manhood.” Many claimed that even Wharton was taken aback when reviewers failed to see the irony of the title and her social criticism of 1870s New York society.  Of the many film, television, and theatrical adaptations of The Age of Innocence, perhaps most notable is the 1993 film of the same name, directed by Martin Scorsese, starring Michelle Pfeiffer as Countess Ellen Olenska, Daniel Day-Lewis as Newland Archer, and Winona Ryder as May Welland Archer. The film won an Oscar for costume design and Ryder was not only nominated for an Oscar, but won a Golden Globe Award for her portrayal of May Welland Archer.  The Age of Innocence is ranked 58th on Modern Library’s “100 Best” English-language novels of the 20th century and 45th on The Guardian’s list of the 100 best novels.

Read more: Identifying first editions of The Age of Innocence


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Bronze Anthology LLC US (US)
Bookseller Inventory #
The Age of Innocence
Edith Wharton
Deep Red Hardcovers
Book condition
Used - Very Good+
Jacket condition
Quantity available
1st Edition
Appleton and Company
Place of Publication
New York
Date published
Rare, First Edition, Edith Wharton, Age of Innocence, Romance, Pulitzer Prize, Gilded Age, New York City, Upper Class, Newland Archer, May Welland, Ellen Olenska,
Bookseller catalogs
20th Century Fiction; First Edition;

Terms of Sale

Bronze Anthology LLC

30 day return guarantee, with full refund including original shipping costs for up to 30 days after delivery if an item arrives misdescribed or damaged. Orders can be cancelled up until they are shipped.

About the Seller

Bronze Anthology LLC

Seller rating:
This seller has earned a 5 of 5 Stars rating from Biblio customers. member since: 2017
Aurora, Colorado
Ask Seller a Question

About Bronze Anthology LLC

At Bronze Anthology LLC, we specialize in Booksets, as well as vintage and specialty books to include 20th Century and Science Fiction. Feel free to check back often as we have new arrivals each and every week.


Some terminology that may be used in this description includes:

Used to mean that the binding of a book has not been overly loosened by frequent use.
Sometimes used as another term for dust jacket, a protective and often decorative wrapper, usually made of paper which wraps...[more]
The outer portion of a book which covers the actual binding. The spine usually faces outward when a book is placed on a shelf....[more]
The collective of the top, fore and bottom edges of the text block of the book, being that part of the edges of the pages of a...[more]

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