Born into a distinguished New York family, Edith Wharton chronicled the lives of the wealthy, the well born, and the nouveau riches in fiction that often hinges on the collision of personal passion and social convention. This volume brings together her best-loved novels, all set in New York.
Newland Archer is about to announce his engagement to May Welland, when May's cousin, Countess Olenska, is introduced into their circle. Her sorrowful eyes and her air of unapproachability attract the sensitive Newland and, almost against their will, a passionate bond develops. But Archer's life has no place for passion, and he finds himself drawn into a bitter conflict between love and duty.