The First Edition of Wharton's Classic, in the Scarce Unrestored Dust Jacket

    Edith Wharton. The Age of Innocence. New York: D. Appleton, 1920.

    First edition. Octavo. 364 pages.

    Publisher's red cloth with black stamping. Cloth is rubbed and edges darkened. Bottom spine end has a three-eighths-inch chip and a small dampstain that bleeds into the spine three-quarters of an inch at its deepest point; stain does not affect any pages. Half-inch split to cloth at head of spine. Rear hinge starting. Endpapers mildly toned. The unrestored dust jacket is fragile, with even soiling and edge wear. Spine ends are lightly chipped, and joints are rubbed and tender. This is an early state of the jacket with a review by William Lyon Phelps and no mention of the Columbia "Pulitzer" Prize. Overall, a very good copy in the amazingly scarce dust jacket.

    A view of New York society and upper class social customs in the late nineteenth century, by an author who was personally familiar with the era and its culture. Wharton's novel won the Pulitzer Prize for Literature in 1921, the first time the prize was awarded to a woman. The most difficult of the Pulitzer Prize winners to find in a dust jacket.

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    June, 2009
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