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The Age of Innocence - Edith Wharton

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The Age of Innocence
by Edith Wharton



Book I



I.

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 cherished 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 acoustics, always so problematic a quality in
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