Edith Wharton kept restlessly editing her best sellers even through numerous print runs. In 1921, she finished fine tuning “The Age of Innocence” upon its sixth printing and tucked one edition onto the shelves at her chateau in Southeastern France.
That copy, with her signature and bookplate, has resurfaced in time for the centennial of the Pulitzer Prize-winning novel. It has been donated to the library at another of her palatial homes, the Mount, a museum in Lenox, Mass.
This is the only known English-language version of “The Age of Innocence” that belonged to Wharton, said Susan Wissler, executive director of the museum. (Examples of the writer’s copies of many of her works are already at the Mount; gaps include her collected teenage poems.) Ms. Wissler added that the museum’s book collection, as it grows, powerfully evokes Wharton’s interests and presence: “The library very much provides us with her soul.”
Photo courtesy Wikimedia.
“She was bad . . . always. They used to meet at the Fifth Avenue Hotel.”
–Edith Wharton, New Year’s Day, 1924
As of today, January 1, 2020, Wharton’s quartet of novellas Old New York is in the public domain. To celebrate this, here’s New Year’s Day (the Seventies), courtesy of Project Gutenberg Australia.
Here are PG Australia’s texts of the novellas:
The Spark, False Dawn, New Year’s Day, The Old Maid
Links to the other novels and novellas available online are being updated today and are available here: https://edithwhartonsociety.wordpress.com/works/novels-and-novellas/
NEW YEAR’S DAY
“She was BAD…always. They used to meet at the Fifth Avenue
Hotel,” said my mother, as if the scene of the offence added to the
guilt of the couple whose past she was revealing. Her spectacles
slanted on her knitting, she dropped the words in a hiss that might
have singed the snowy baby-blanket which engaged her indefatigable
fingers. (It was typical of my mother to be always employed in
benevolent actions while she uttered uncharitable words.)
[read the rest at the link]