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New York in The Age of Innocence

In 2020, we celebrate the 100th anniversary of the publication of Edith Wharton’s great novel The Age of Innocence. This course explores New York City at the time of the book’s setting: the 1870s and 1880s, a period of dramatic change, with the coming of the elevated railway, electric light, the skyscraper, the Metropolitan Opera, and The Metropolitan Museum of Art, as well as of economic panic. It also was the era of the transcontinental railroad and the Wild West, as depicted in Hollywood Westerns. We will read The Age of Innocence along with A Hazard of New Fortunes by William Dean Howells, and perhaps other works as we view a city of tension, turmoil, and innovation.

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You'll Walk Away with

  • An understanding of the history of New York during the 1870s and 1880s
  • Familiarity with Edith Wharton’s work and other great novels of the time

Ideal for

  • All members of the community—working, retired, and in between
  • The curious and creative
NO open sections available for this course at the moment. Please check back next semester.