Old New York by Edith Wharton
Edith Wharton (1862-1937), the grande dame of American literature, was also a subtle and spirited critic of its society.
These novellas, set in the New York of the mid-1800s are united by Edith Wharton's compassionate and ironic vision. From Lewis Raycie, son of complacent plutocrats, who returns from his Grand Tour with Renaissance masterpieces only to be ridiculed and disinherited, to Lizzie Hazeldean, seen leaving a hotel with a man who is not her husband - honourable but unconventional people are sacrificed to the constraints of a society where appearances count for more than genuine goodness. Here is a fascinating insight into the world from which Edith Wharton came.