The Age of Innocence
What can you expect of a girl who was allowed to wear black satin at her coming out ball?’
Into the exquisite drawing-rooms of New York society in the 1870s returns Ellen Olenska. Mysterious, European, she is an object of rumour and speculation and, unusually in these select circles, the word ‘divorce’ is whispered about her marriage to a rich Polish Count. To Newland Archer, tenderly in love with May Welland, Ellen’s charming presence is a temptation and something to be resisted – if he can.
Ostracised by her friends, her position destroyed, spirited Ellen nevertheless offers Newland a glimpse of genuine respect and companionship. And so develops his agonising dilemma: should he choose the duty of a socially approved marriage, or the love of a woman frowned upon by ‘decent’ society.