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Old New York Paperback – March 1, 1995


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Scribner (March 1, 1995)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0020383142
  • ISBN-13: 978-0020383147
  • Product Dimensions: 0.7 x 5.4 x 7.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #199,841 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

First published in 1924, Wharton's collection of four short novels reveals the customs and social orders of mid-19th-century New York.
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Library Journal

This is another in the new Scribner Paperback Fiction line of classics (see Classic Returns, LJ 3/1/95). This 1924 volume contains Wharton's novellas False Dawn, The Old Maid, The Spark, and New Year's Day, which portray New York from the 1840s to 1870s.
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

37 of 39 people found the following review helpful By Julius on January 31, 2000
Format: Paperback
I have just finished reading the four exquisite novellas in this set by Edith Wharton and, after drying the tears, I am ready to say that I was inthe company of genius. These stories, not just for women, are written about a time when manners and feelings counted. A time when things were slower, more thoughtful, people communicated, and issues to be dealt with were..these are the things Edith Wharton wrote about. The stories deal with topics people are still dealing with today in our so-called new age and new economy. But how they deal with their issues and how they relate can teach us a lot. Read these stories, weep, and learn. They are nothing short of magnificent!
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22 of 23 people found the following review helpful By Westley VINE VOICE on January 9, 2003
Format: Paperback
This collection of 4 novellas is not one of Edith Wharton's best or best known books; however, OLD NEW YORK is a wonderful and varied good read. The best known of these stories is probably the OLD MAID, which was made into a 1939 movie starring Bette Davis. It chronicles the complex relationsip between cousins who join together to hide the origins of an orphan. I also really enjoyed NEW YEAR'S DAY, which tells of a young adulturous woman and the ramificantions her actions have on her entire life. The story reminded me a bit of THE AGE OF INNOCENCE in its heroine's sacrificing her life for the sake of appearances. THE SPARK is also terrific, but a bit stagey. It tells of a young man's fascination with an older successful man who is seen as a bit silly by others. Unfortunately, the book jacket (included on this site also) gives away a bit too much. The other story, FALSE DAWN, I found to be too predictable, and the writing was rather stilted. FALSE DAWN is the first story in this collection; if you find yourself not enjoying this story, stick with the book...it gets better!
Overall, this collection is likely to please fans of Edith Wharton and people who enjoy American literature from the early 20th century. Wharton is an superb author of the finest caliber, and I look forward to reading more of her books.
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27 of 31 people found the following review helpful By CoffeeGurl HALL OF FAME on August 29, 2000
Format: Paperback
There is no doubt about it. Edith Warthon -- the stunning creator of amazing novels like The Age of Innocence and The House of Mirth -- had outdone herself with Old New York. The four novellas in Old New York have similar themes: infidelity, jealousy and the always intriguing class system. I love all the stories, but I particularly like "New Year's Day," which focuses on an adulterous woman. I marvel at the fact that this story had probably caused some controversy in those times. I also enjoyed "False Down" and "The Old Maid." I know that this particular book is not as popular as -- oh, I don't know -- The Age of Innocence, but the timeless quality in the stories is definitely memorable. If you haven't given this wonderful book a whirl, please do!
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on February 29, 2000
Format: Paperback
Anyone that likes Edith Wharton should read these novellas. I like her full length stories better (ie. The Age of Innocence, Custom of the County, The Buccaneers) so, I gave this book four stars because the characters aren't as developed as I would like them to be.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Betty Bookworm on September 24, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
What can be written about Edith Wharton's uniquely American point of view of a New York that has long since disappeared that hasn't already been elaborated on. She is by far my favorite author and any bibliophile will truly benefit from incorporating Wharton into their personal libraries. She captures a woman's voice like few authors have, describing it in brilliant and accurate terms. I wish I had Wharton's ease with descriptive language to convey how fortunate we are to have such literature at our disposal. Do yourself a favor and read anything Wharton.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By YA book lover on November 30, 2009
Format: Paperback
Wharton rarely disappoints. This is another anthology of novellas dedicated to the themes familiar to all Wharton readers - stifling constraints of Gilded Age New York society, utter dependence of women, etc.

The collection contains 4 stories, each set in a different decade of the 19th century. "False Dawn" deals with the consequences of being different, even in a trite matter of preference in art. "The Old Maid" is an interesting account of an aftermath of an illicit affair where two women are drawn into a very complex relationship raising an illegitimate child. "The Spark" explores (I think) an influence of a chance meeting on a man's character. "New Year's Day" is a story of a woman engaged in adultery whose reasons for being unfaithful are not quite what you expect them to be.

Unlike another anthology I recently read ("Roman Fever and Other Stories") this book is very uneven. "The Old Maid" and "New Year's Day" are the best, "False Dawn" a little underwhelming, but still good, and "Spark" is a definite disappointment (too unresolved and muddled). But nevertheless, Wharton, as always, delivers.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Book Buff on March 21, 2006
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
We enjoyed this book , especially the story "The Old Maid". We are fans of Editith Wharton and this did not disappoint.
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