A Penn State Electronic Classics Series Publication
The Age of Innocence by Edith Wharton is a publication of the Pennsylvania State University.
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The Age of Innocence by Edith Wharton, the Pennsylvania State University, Electronic Classics
Series, Jim Manis, Faculty Editor, Hazleton, PA 18201-1291 is a Portable Document File pro-
duced as part of an ongoing student publication project to bring classical works of literature,
in English, to free and easy access of those wishing to make use of them.
Cover Design: Jim Manis
Copyright © 2000 The Pennsylvania State University
The Pennsylvania State University is an equal opportunity university.
ON A JANUARY EVENING of the early seventies, Christine Nilsson
was singing in Faust at the Academy of Music in New York.
Though there was already talk of the erection, in remote
metropolitan distances “above the Forties,” of a new Opera
House which should compete in costliness and splendour with
those of the great European capitals, the world of fashion was
still content to reassemble every winter in the shabby red and
gold boxes of the sociable old Academy. Conservatives cher-
ished it for being small and inconvenient, and thus keeping out
the “new people” whom New York was beginning to dread
and yet be drawn to; and the sentimental clung to it for its
historic associations, and the musical for its excellent acous-
tics, always so problematic a quality in halls built for the hear-
ing of music.
It was Madame Nilsson’s first appearanc