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Old New York Paperback – March 1, 1995
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Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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Top Customer Reviews
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.
If you enjoy Edith Wharton's other books you will like this collection. Each novella is set in a different decade from the 1840's to the 1870's. You can expect well-drawn characters and Wharton's memorable descriptive turns of phrase.
"False Dawn: The 'Forties" and "The Spark: The 'Sixties" are told more from a male perspective, and possibly for that reason are less effective. "The Old Maid: The 'Fifties" is more concerned with female characters, and to me is reminiscent of Wharton's short story "Roman Fever". I thought that "New Years Day: The 'Seventies" was the best of the group. In the middle it has the feel of "House of Mirth". And the ending is unexpected.
"False Dawn" and "The Spark" concern the artistic blindness of the rich and powerful. They both treat underestimated and unappreciated historical literary or artistic figures. "The Old Maid" and "New Years Day" both cover the familiar Wharton subject of societal censure.
I rate "Old New York" somewhere between the group "House of Mirth", "Age of Innocence", "Ethan Frome" and the group "The Reef", "Twilight Sleep", "Summer". This is, of course, a matter of taste. If you like good, classic American literature, you can't go wrong with this one.
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.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I ordered this by accident (I already have a copy). This book is a wondeful book about social class and the barriers that woman faced in the era in which it was writte. Read morePublished 2 months ago by 499Lake
Edith Wharton's stories are always excellent, well considered, illuminating human nature.Published 6 months ago by jane
A book for fans of Edith Wharton. It includes the story "Old Maid" which is the basis for both a play and a movie with Betty Davis. Read morePublished 7 months ago by Jana Bickel
Again as I have stated before in my Amazon reviews,, OLD NEW YORK,,by Wharton is a delight,,,,as are all of her books.. Read morePublished 17 months ago by mary t anthony
You must read Edit Wharton before you die - she will add to please both now and in the after-life.Published 19 months ago by Stewart MacDonald
I liked learning about life in New York City in the latter half of the 19th century during different decades. Read morePublished 23 months ago by Larry Lincoln
The stories from that era are so delightful and fascinating. Edith Wharton is indeed a great writer. Will read more of her writing.Published on July 28, 2013 by Molly Roe