Old New York: False Dawn, The Forties; The Old Maid, The Fifties; Old New York, The Sixties; and New Year’s Day, the Seventies.
by Wharton, Edith
New York: D. Appleton, 1924. First editions of each of the four volumes that compose of Edith Wharton's Old New York. Octavo, four volumes; original blue cloth; original slipcase. Each volume is in near fine condition with the original dust jackets which show just a touch of rubbing and wear. The original slipcase is in very good condition. The nicest example we have seen or handled. The four short novels in this collection by the author of The Age of Innocence are set in the New York of the 1840s, '50s, '60s, and '70s, each one revealing the tribal codes and customs that ruled society, portrayed with the keen style that is uniquely Edith Wharton's. These novellas are vintage Wharton, dealing boldly with such themes as infidelity, illegitimacy, jealousy, the class system, and the condition of women in society. Included in this remarkable quartet are False Dawn, which concerns the stormy relationship between a domineering father and his son; The Old Maid, the best known of the four, in which a young woman's secret illegitimate child is adopted by her best friend -- with devastating results; The Spark, about a young man's moral rehabilitation, which is "sparked" by a chance encounter with Walt Whitman; and New Year's Day, an O. Henryesque tale of a married woman suspected of adultery. Old New York is Wharton at her finest. (Inventory #: 22001)
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