The Age of Desire

The Age of Desire

A Novel

Book - 2012
Average Rating:
Rate this:

For fans of The Paris Wife , a sparkling glimpse into the life of Edith Wharton and the scandalous love affair that threatened her closest friendship

They say behind every great man is a woman. Behind Edith Wharton, there was Anna Bahlmann--her governess turned literary secretary, and her mothering, nurturing friend.

When at the age of forty-five, Edith falls passionately in love with a dashing younger journalist, Morton Fullerton, and is at last opened to the world of the sensual, it threatens everything certain in her life but especially her abiding friendship with Anna. As Edith's marriage crumbles and Anna's disapproval threatens to shatter their lifelong bond, the women must face the fragility at the heart of all friendships.

Told through the points of view of both women, The Age of Desire takes us on a vivid journey through Wharton's early Gilded Age world: Paris with its glamorous literary salons and dark secret cafés, the Whartons' elegant house in Lenox, Massachusetts, and Henry James's manse in Rye, England.

Edith's real letters and intimate diary entries are woven throughout the book. The Age of Desire brings to life one of literature's most beloved writers, whose own story was as complex and nuanced as that of any of the heroines she created.

Publisher: New York : Pamela Dorman Books/Viking, 2012
ISBN: 9780670023684
Branch Call Number: F FIE NVD
Characteristics: x, 352 p. ; 24 cm


From the critics

Community Activity


Add a Comment

Jan 14, 2013

Loved the book but still having trouble to believe women with personalities like Anna used to exist in a world where it's all about me, myself and I.

Cventura Sep 17, 2012

Loved this sumptuous book based on Edith Wharton's actual letters.

hgeng63 Aug 31, 2012

Well-written, structurally sound, but curiously uninvolving to me.

Aug 28, 2012

This historical fiction follows the lives of Edith Wharton and her governess-now-secretary Anna Bahlmann and the people in their lives in the years 1907 through 1910, just following the publication of The House of Mirth and while living in Paris and the Wharton?s summer home The Mount.

It?s a book with love and loyalty as its themes and which uses actual correspondence between Wharton and Bahlmann as part of the text. Interesting, but not a favorite. The author just seems to be trying too hard for something magical.

Age Suitability

Add Age Suitability

There are no age suitabilities for this title yet.


Add a Summary

There are no summaries for this title yet.


Add Notices

There are no notices for this title yet.


Add a Quote

There are no quotes for this title yet.

Explore Further

Browse by Call Number


Subject Headings


Find it at NVDPL

To Top