Celebrating the Centennial of The Age of Innocence

The Age of Innocence is Edith Wharton’s twelfth novel, initially serialized in four parts in the Pictorial Review magazine in 1920, and later released by D. Appleton and Company as a book in New York and in London. It won the 1921 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction, making Wharton the first woman to win the prize.

2020 marks the centennial of this extraordinary novel.  Its main themes include love, inequity, and tribalism, and are as important as ever. Recently, BBC’s Sounds Arts & Ideas podcast aired, The wealth gap, #MeToo and Edith Wharton, which  showcases how relevant Wharton’s novel is today.

Roxanne Gay, Ta-Nehisi Coates, and Dennis Lehane have all cited The Age of Innocence as one of their favorite novels and they are not alone. The novel continues to be recognized as one of America’s greatest works of literature.

We hope you join us in celebrating this anniversary. Here are some ways you can be involved:

(Re)Read it or (Re)Watch it!

Pick up copies of new centennial editions of The Age of Innocence. The Scribner edition features an  introduction by Colm Toibin and the Penguin Classics edition features an introduction by Elif Batuman, which was also featured in the New York Times Book Review.

Choose The Age of Innocence for your next Book Club pick and have one our interpreters lead a discussion for your Club, here at The Mount. For more information, call 413-551-5100 or email info@edithwharton.org.

Host a screening of Martin Scorsese’s 1993 film adaptation starring Michelle Pfeiffer as Countess Ellen Olenska, Daniel Day-Lewis as Newland Archer, and Winona Ryder as May Welland Archer. Ryder won a Golden Globe Award for her performance, and the film won an Academy Award for costume design.

Attend an Event

The Age of Innocence, adapted by playwright Karen Zacarías 
January 12

The Age of Innocence Turns 100
January 21, 2020 at Symphony Space

Winter Book Club at The Mount Reads The Age of Innocence
February 9, The Mount’s Drawing Room

Edith Wharton’s New York: The 2020 Edith Wharton Society Conference
June 2020

Centennial Celebration at The Mount
June – September 2020

June 21: The Age of Innocence in Conversation with Arielle Zibrak and Sarah Blackwood

July 11: The Age of Innocence Fête featuring excerpts from a new musical adaptation by Peter Yarin and Craig Fols. 

August 28: Outdoor screening of Martin Scorsese’s The Age of Innocence 

Recent & Upcoming Publications by Wharton Scholars

Edith Wharton’s The Age of Innocence: New Centenary Essays

The New Edith Wharton Studies

Women Adapting: Bringing Three Serials of the Roaring Twenties to Stage and Screen

 Edith Wharton and the Modern Privileges of Age


Please check back often as we continue to add more centennial news and events.  Media inquires looking for additional information please contact:

Rebecka McDougall, Director of Communications & Community Outreach