‘The Age of Innocence’ is a 1920 novel by Edith Wharton, and the winner of the 1921 Pulitzer Prize. The title is an ironic comment on the smooth outward manners of New York society in comparison to its inner workings. The narrative revolves around the impending marriage of an upper-class couple, Newland Archer and the beautiful May Welland, which is disrupted by the appearance of the mysterious Countess Ellen Olenska who shocks the New York aristocracy with her unconventional manners and revealing clothes. The novel’s underlying theme is the loss of the pre-war world which was destroyed by World War I. The writing is rich in detail, and impressive in its descriptions of the golden age of New York in the 19th century.