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View Poll Results: Multiple Choice - Which time period should we use for nominations this month?
BCE 0 0%
1-1000 0 0%
1001-1500 0 0%
1501-1800 0 0%
1901-1920 6 85.71%
1921-1940 4 57.14%
1941-1960 4 57.14%
1961-1980 2 28.57%
Multiple Choice Poll. Voters: 7. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 05-01-2014, 01:15 PM   #1
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Time Period Nominations • May 2014

Help us select what the MR Literary Club will read for May 2014!


The category for this month is:

Time Period
1901-1920, as chosen in the poll


This month is a two-part process:

The first part begins with a one-day poll to determine the time period we will use. It is multiple choice; you may choose as many options as you like when voting. This voting is separate from your nominations. There are no nominations during the poll, only voting. I will not vote in the poll, and if there is a tie, I will break it.

As soon as the poll is over and the time period is determined, then the second part (nominations) begins as normal. This will run for four days until 6 May.

Nominations can be set in any time period and published in any time period, but they should be written during that time period.


Notes:

-Previously chosen time periods currently ineligible:
1981-2000
1801-1900

-The period of 2001-Present has been given its own category (Contemporary) and therefore isn't eligible anymore for the Time Period poll.



Once the poll is over and nominations begin:

In order for a work to be included in the nominee poll it needs four nominations - the original nomination plus three supporting.

Each participant has four nominations to use. You can nominate a new work for consideration or you can support (second, third or fourth) a work that has already been nominated by another person.

To nominate a work just post a message with your nomination. If you are the first to nominate a work, it's always nice to provide an abstract to the work so others may consider their level of interest.


What is literature for the purposes of this club? A superior work of lasting merit that enriches the mind. Often it is important, challenging, critically acclaimed. It may be from ancient times to today; it may be from anywhere in the world; it may be obscure or famous, short or long; it may be a story, a novel, a play, a poem, an essay or another written form. If you are unsure if a work would be considered literature, just ask!


The floor is now open!

*

Nominations are closed. Final nominations:


Under Western Eyes by Joseph Conrad, 1911 - Fully nominated
Spoiler:
In favour- Bookworm_Girl, issybird, paola, caleb72


From Goodreads:

Political turmoil convulses 19th-century Russia, as Razumov, a young student preparing for a career in the czarist bureaucracy, unwittingly becomes embroiled in the assassination of a public official. Asked to spy on the family of the assassin— his close friend — he must come to terms with timeless questions of accountability and human integrity.


From Wikipedia:

Under Western Eyes (1911) is a novel by Joseph Conrad. The novel takes place in St. Petersburg, Russia, and Geneva, Switzerland, and is viewed as Conrad's response to the themes explored in Crime and Punishment; Conrad was reputed to have detested Dostoevsky. It is also, some say, Conrad's response to his own early life; his father was a famous revolutionary imprisoned by the Russians, but, instead of following in his father's footsteps, at the age of sixteen Conrad left his native land forever. Indeed, while writing Under Western Eyes, Conrad suffered a weeks-long breakdown during which he conversed with the novel's characters in Polish.

This novel is considered to be one of Conrad's major works and is close in subject matter to The Secret Agent. It is full of cynicism and conflict about the historical failures of revolutionary movements and ideals. Conrad remarks in this book, as well as others, on the irrationality of life, the opacity of character, the unfairness with which suffering is inflicted upon the innocent and poor, and the careless disregard for the lives of those with whom we share existence.

His narrative style and anti-heroic characters have influenced many authors, including D. H. Lawrence, F. Scott Fitzgerald, William Faulkner, Gerald Basil Edwards, Ernest Hemingway, George Orwell, Graham Greene, Malcolm Lowry, William Golding, William S. Burroughs, Joseph Heller, Italo Calvino, Gabriel García Márquez, J. G. Ballard, John le Carré, V. S. Naipaul, Philip Roth, Hunter S. Thompson, J. M. Coetzee and Salman Rushdie.


Available at the MR Library - EPUB of the complete works of Joseph Conrad (uploaded by pynch)


The Gods Are Athirst by Anatole France, 1912 - Fully nominated
Spoiler:
In favour- paola, Bookworm_Girl, issybird, caleb72


The Gods Will Have Blood also known as The Gods Are Athirst, The Gods Want Blood or The Gods Are Thirsty (original title Les dieux ont soif), by Anatole France, another Nobel Prize laureate.

The book was published in 1912, and the translation by Mrs Wilfrid Jackson, or you can get the more recent Penguin edition on Amazon or Kobo.


From the back cover of the Penguin edition:

Published in 1912, when Anatole France was sixty-eight, The Gods Will Have Blood is the story of Gamelin, an idealistic young artist appointed as a magistrate during the French Revolution. Gamelin's ideals lead him to the most monstrous mass murder of his countrymen, and the links between Gamelin and his family, his mistress and the humanist Brotteaux are catastrophically severed. The Gods Will Have Blood recreates the violence and devastation of the Terror with breathtaking power, and weaves into it a tale which grips, convinces and profoundly moves. The perfection of Anatole France's prose style, with its myriad subtle ironies, is here translated by Frederick Davies with admirable skill and sensitivity. That The Gods Will Have Blood is Anatole France's masterpiece is beyond doubt. It is also one of the most brilliantly polished novels in French literature.


The Education of Henry Adams by Henry Adams, 1905 - Fully nominated
Spoiler:
In favour- issybird, Billi, paola, Bookpossum


Written around 1905, privately published in 1907 and winner of the 1919 Pulitzer after publication on Adams' death.


From Amazon:

The Education of Henry Adams is the Pulitzer Prize winning autobiography of Henry Adams. The Education is much more a record of Adams's introspection than of his deeds. It is an extended meditation on the social, technological, political, and intellectual changes that occurred over Adams's lifetime. Adams concluded that his traditional education at Harvard failed to help him come to terms with the rapid changes he saw in his lifetime; hence his need for self-education. Adams repeatedly laments that his formal education, grounded in the classics, history, and literature, as was then the fashion, did not give him the scientific and mathematical knowledge needed to grasp the scientific breakthroughs of the 1890s and 1900s. The organizing thread of the book is how the "proper" schooling and other aspects of his youth, was time wasted; thus his search for self-education through experiences, friendships, and reading. Many consider this the best autobiography ever written.


Public domain, readily available including here at MR: Kindle


The Mother by Grazia Deledda, 1920 - Fully nominated
Spoiler:
In favour- paola, Billi, issybird, BelleZora


La madre (in English it's also known as The Woman and the Priest), by Maria Grazia Deledda. She was Italian and won the Nobel prize for literature in 1926. This book came out in Italian in 1920, although the first English translations are dated 1922 and 1923.


From Amazon:

The Mother is an unusual book, both in its story and its setting in a remote Sardinian hill village, half civilized and superstitious. But the chief interest lies in the psychological study of the two chief characters, and the action of the story takes place so rapidly (all within the space of two days) and the actual drama is so interwoven with the mental conflict, and all so forced by circumstances, that it is almost Greek in its simple and inevitable tragedy.

The book is written without offence to any creed or opinions, and touches on no questions of either doctrine or Church government. It is just a human problem, the result of primitive human nature against man-made laws it cannot understand.


The Mother has an English translation that is available for free here.


The Thirty-Nine Steps by John Buchan, 1915 - Fully nominated
Spoiler:
In favour- caleb72, BelleZora, sun surfer, Synamon


The Thirty-Nine Steps is an adventure novel by the Scottish author John Buchan. It first appeared as a serial in Blackwood's Magazine in August and September 1915 before being published in book form in October that year by William Blackwood and Sons, Edinburgh. It is the first of five novels featuring Richard Hannay, an all-action hero with a stiff upper lip and a miraculous knack for getting himself out of sticky situations.


Zuleika Dobson, or, an Oxford love story by Max Beerbohm, 1911 - Fully nominated
Spoiler:
In favour- sun surfer, Bookpossum, Bookworm_Girl, BelleZora


From Amazon:

The all-male campus of Oxford—Beerbohm’s alma mater—is a place where aesthetics holds sway above all else, and where witty intellectuals reign. Things haven’t changed for its privileged student body for years . . . until the beguiling music-hall prestidigitator Zuleika Dobson shows up.

The book’s marvelous prose dances along the line between reality and the absurd as students and dons alike fall at Zuleika’s feet, and she cuts a wide swath across the campus—until she encounters one young aristocrat for whom she is astonished to find she has feelings.

As Zuleika, and her creator, zero in on their targets, the book takes some surprising and dark twists on its way to a truly startling ending—an ending so striking that readers will understand why Virginia Woolf said that “Mr. Beerbohm in his way is perfect.”


Some quotes:

Virginia Woolf- "Mr. Beerbohm in his way is perfect . . . He has brought personality into literature, not unconsciously and impurely, but so consciously and purely that we do not know whether there is any relation between Max the essayist and Mr. Beerbohm the man. We only know that the spirit of personality permeates every word that he writes . . . He is without doubt the prince of his profession.”

Evelyn Waugh- “Beerbohm was a genius of the purest kind. He stands at the summit of his art.”

E.M. Forster- “Zuleika Dobson is a highly accomplished and superbly written book whose spirit is farcical. It is a great work—the most consistent achievement of fantasy in our time . . . So funny and charming, so iridescent yet so profound.”

Bertrand Russell- “I read Zuleika Dobson with pleasure. It represents the Oxford that the two World Wars have destroyed with a charm that is not likely to be reproduced anywhere in the world for the next thousand years.”


Availability-

Patricia Clark Memorial Library -
Kindle PRC IMP LRF (all uploaded by Patricia, whom our library here at MobileRead is named after)
EPUB of the complete works of Max Beerbohm (uploaded by pynch)

Kobo


The Good Soldier: A Tale of Passion by Ford Madox Ford, 1915 - Fully nominated
Spoiler:
In favour- Bookpossum, sun surfer, ccowie, Bookworm_Girl


From Goodreads:

"A Tale of Passion," as its subtitle declares, The Good Soldier relates the complex social and sexual relationships between two couples, one English, one American, and the growing awareness by the American narrator John Dowell of the intrigues and passions behind their orderly Edwardian facade. It is the attitude of Dowell, his puzzlement, uncertainty, and the seemingly haphazard manner of his narration that make the book so powerful and mysterious. Despite its catalogue of death, insanity, and despair, the novel has many comic moments, and has inspired the work of several distinguished writers, including Graham Greene.


It's available from the University of Adelaide ebook publications here.

It's also in the MR library.


The Age of Innocence by Edith Wharton, 1920 - Fully nominated
Spoiler:
In favour- caleb72, Synamon, Bookpossum, BelleZora


Winner of the 1921 Pulitzer Prize, The Age of Innocence is Edith Wharton’s masterful portrait of desire and betrayal during the sumptuous Golden Age of Old New York, a time when society people “dreaded scandal more than disease.”

This is Newland Archer’s world as he prepares to marry the beautiful but conventional May Welland. But when the mysterious Countess Ellen Olenska returns to New York after a disastrous marriage, Archer falls deeply in love with her. Torn between duty and passion, Archer struggles to make a decision that will either courageously define his life—or mercilessly destroy it.


Available at the MR Library - EPUB of the complete works of Edith Wharton (uploaded by pynch)


Main Street: The Story of Carol Kennicott by Sinclair Lewis, 1920 - Fully nominated
Spoiler:
In favour- ccowie, sun surfer, Synamon, Billi


It was published in 1920 so it should make it just under the wire.


This from Indigo:

This is America—a town of a few thousand, in a region of wheat and corn and dairies and little groves." So Sinclair Lewis—, recipient of the Nobel Prize and rejecter of the Pulitzer —prefaces his novel Main Street. Lewis is brutal in his depictions of the self-satisfied inhabitants of small-town America, a place which proves to be merely an assemblage of pretty surfaces, strung together and ultimately empty.


This from Goodreads:

Main Street, the story of an idealistic young woman's attempts to reform her small town, brought Lewis immediate acclaim when it was published in 1920. It remains one of the essential texts of the American scene. Lewis Mumford observed: "In Main Street an American had at last written of our life with something of the intellectual rigor and critical detachment that had seemed so cruel and unjustified [in Charles Dickens and Matthew Arnold]. Young people had grown up in this environment, suffocated, stultified, helpless, but unable to find any reason for their spiritual discomfort. Mr. Lewis released them."

Last edited by sun surfer; 05-06-2014 at 11:12 AM.
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Old 05-02-2014, 04:29 PM   #2
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I'll begin by nominating Zuleika Dobson, or, an Oxford love story by Max Beerbohm from 1911.

Spoiler:
From Amazon:

The all-male campus of Oxford—Beerbohm’s alma mater—is a place where aesthetics holds sway above all else, and where witty intellectuals reign. Things haven’t changed for its privileged student body for years . . . until the beguiling music-hall prestidigitator Zuleika Dobson shows up.

The book’s marvelous prose dances along the line between reality and the absurd as students and dons alike fall at Zuleika’s feet, and she cuts a wide swath across the campus—until she encounters one young aristocrat for whom she is astonished to find she has feelings.

As Zuleika, and her creator, zero in on their targets, the book takes some surprising and dark twists on its way to a truly startling ending—an ending so striking that readers will understand why Virginia Woolf said that “Mr. Beerbohm in his way is perfect.”


Some quotes:

Virginia Woolf- "Mr. Beerbohm in his way is perfect . . . He has brought personality into literature, not unconsciously and impurely, but so consciously and purely that we do not know whether there is any relation between Max the essayist and Mr. Beerbohm the man. We only know that the spirit of personality permeates every word that he writes . . . He is without doubt the prince of his profession.”

Evelyn Waugh- “Beerbohm was a genius of the purest kind. He stands at the summit of his art.”

E.M. Forster- “Zuleika Dobson is a highly accomplished and superbly written book whose spirit is farcical. It is a great work—the most consistent achievement of fantasy in our time . . . So funny and charming, so iridescent yet so profound.”

Bertrand Russell- “I read Zuleika Dobson with pleasure. It represents the Oxford that the two World Wars have destroyed with a charm that is not likely to be reproduced anywhere in the world for the next thousand years.”


Availability-
Patricia Clark Memorial Library - Kindle PRC IMP LRF (all uploaded by Patricia, whom our library here at MobileRead is named after)
Kobo

Last edited by sun surfer; 05-03-2014 at 11:51 AM.
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Old 05-02-2014, 08:11 PM   #3
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I'll second Zuleika Dobson. One of those books I have heard of but never read.

I'll nominate The Good Soldier by Ford Madox Ford, published 1915, which is on my TBR list. From Goodreads:

Quote:
"A Tale of Passion," as its subtitle declares, The Good Soldier relates the complex social and sexual relationships between two couples, one English, one American, and the growing awareness by the American narrator John Dowell of the intrigues and passions behind their orderly Edwardian facade. It is the attitude of Dowell, his puzzlement, uncertainty, and the seemingly haphazard manner of his narration that make the book so powerful and mysterious. Despite its catalogue of death, insanity, and despair, the novel has many comic moments, and has inspired the work of several distinguished writers, including Graham Greene.
It's available from the University of Adelaide ebook publications here.

ETA: It's also in the MR library.
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Old 05-03-2014, 06:14 AM   #4
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I'd like to nominate The Mother (aka The woman and the priest), by Maria Grazia Deledda, Italian Nobel prize for literature in 1926. This book came out in Italian in 1919, so I think it qualifies, although the first English translations are dated 1922 and 1923. From amazon:
Quote:
The Mother is an unusual book, both in its story and its setting in a remote Sardinian hill village, half civilized and superstitious. But the chief interest lies in the psychological study of the two chief characters, and the action of the story takes place so rapidly (all within the space of two days) and the actual drama is so interwoven with the mental conflict, and all so forced by circumstances, that it is almost Greek in its simple and inevitable tragedy.
The book is written without offence to any creed or opinions, and touches on no questions of either doctrine or Church government. It is just a human problem, the result of primitive human nature against man-made laws it cannot understand
I would have preferred Canne al vento/Reeds in the wind, but the advantage of The mother (which i have not read) is that an English translation is available for free here.

Now I'll think of some Virginia Woolf...
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Old 05-03-2014, 07:46 AM   #5
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This sounds intesting. I support "The Mother".
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Old 05-03-2014, 10:29 AM   #6
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I'm thirding The Mother while I do more thinking.

I may be a bit premature on this, but we've got some no-shows among the regulars and occasionals and it may be hard to come up with the requisite four nominations.
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Old 05-03-2014, 11:37 AM   #7
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paola, I'm checking the dates for each nomination and it seems most sites that I find except for Goodreads list The Mother as first published in 1920, such as this Google search. I've used 1920 as its date for the nomination list, but I will trust you and change it back to 1919 if you are confident of it. It doesn't matter much really since both dates are eligible but I wanted to make clear why the date in the list was different from your post.
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Old 05-03-2014, 11:49 AM   #8
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I'd like to nominate Main Street by Sinclair Lewis. It's one I've wanted to read for several years, but never seemed to get around to. It was published in 1920 so it should make it just under the wire.

This from Indigo:
This is America—a town of a few thousand, in a region of wheat and corn and dairies and little groves." So Sinclair Lewis—, recipient of the Nobel Prize and rejecter of the Pulitzer —prefaces his novel Main Street. Lewis is brutal in his depictions of the self-satisfied inhabitants of small-town America, a place which proves to be merely an assemblage of pretty surfaces, strung together and ultimately empty.

This from Goodreads:
Main Street, the story of an idealistic young woman's attempts to reform her small town, brought Lewis immediate acclaim when it was published in 1920. It remains one of the essential texts of the American scene. Lewis Mumford observed: "In Main Street an American had at last written of our life with something of the intellectual rigor and critical detachment that had seemed so cruel and unjustified [in Charles Dickens and Matthew Arnold]. Young people had grown up in this environment, suffocated, stultified, helpless, but unable to find any reason for their spiritual discomfort. Mr. Lewis released them."

Last edited by ccowie; 05-03-2014 at 11:54 AM.
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Old 05-03-2014, 03:42 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sun surfer View Post
paola, I'm checking the dates for each nomination and it seems most sites that I find except for Goodreads list The Mother as first published in 1920, such as this Google search. I've used 1920 as its date for the nomination list, but I will trust you and change it back to 1919 if you are confident of it. It doesn't matter much really since both dates are eligible but I wanted to make clear why the date in the list was different from your post.
sunsurfer, indeed it looks like I was wrong, at least the Nobel prize site also dates it as 1920. Thanks for checking!
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Old 05-03-2014, 04:25 PM   #10
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This is a fantastic time period and I have so many books on my TBR list!

I would like to nominate Under Western Eyes by Joseph Conrad published in 1911.

From Goodreads:
Political turmoil convulses 19th-century Russia, as Razumov, a young student preparing for a career in the czarist bureaucracy, unwittingly becomes embroiled in the assassination of a public official. Asked to spy on the family of the assassin— his close friend — he must come to terms with timeless questions of accountability and human integrity.

From Wikipedia:
Under Western Eyes (1911) is a novel by Joseph Conrad. The novel takes place in St. Petersburg, Russia, and Geneva, Switzerland, and is viewed as Conrad's response to the themes explored in Crime and Punishment; Conrad was reputed to have detested Dostoevsky. It is also, some say, Conrad's response to his own early life; his father was a famous revolutionary imprisoned by the Russians, but, instead of following in his father's footsteps, at the age of sixteen Conrad left his native land forever. Indeed, while writing Under Western Eyes, Conrad suffered a weeks-long breakdown during which he conversed with the novel's characters in Polish.

This novel is considered to be one of Conrad's major works and is close in subject matter to The Secret Agent. It is full of cynicism and conflict about the historical failures of revolutionary movements and ideals. Conrad remarks in this book, as well as others, on the irrationality of life, the opacity of character, the unfairness with which suffering is inflicted upon the innocent and poor, and the careless disregard for the lives of those with whom we share existence.

His narrative style and anti-heroic characters have influenced many authors, including D. H. Lawrence, F. Scott Fitzgerald, William Faulkner, Gerald Basil Edwards, Ernest Hemingway, George Orwell, Graham Greene, Malcolm Lowry, William Golding, William S. Burroughs, Joseph Heller, Italo Calvino, Gabriel García Márquez, J. G. Ballard, John le Carré, V. S. Naipaul, Philip Roth, Hunter S. Thompson, J. M. Coetzee and Salman Rushdie.
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Old 05-03-2014, 05:04 PM   #11
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I'll second Under Western Eyes. I read The Secret Agent earlier this year and loved it.
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Old 05-03-2014, 06:44 PM   #12
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I'm going to nominate The Education of Henry Adams, privately published in 1908 and winner of the 1919 Pulitzer after publication on Adams' death.

From Amazon:

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The Education of Henry Adams is the Pulitzer Prize winning autobiography of Henry Adams. The Education is much more a record of Adams's introspection than of his deeds. It is an extended meditation on the social, technological, political, and intellectual changes that occurred over Adams's lifetime. Adams concluded that his traditional education at Harvard failed to help him come to terms with the rapid changes he saw in his lifetime; hence his need for self-education. Adams repeatedly laments that his formal education, grounded in the classics, history, and literature, as was then the fashion, did not give him the scientific and mathematical knowledge needed to grasp the scientific breakthroughs of the 1890s and 1900s. The organizing thread of the book is how the "proper" schooling and other aspects of his youth, was time wasted; thus his search for self-education through experiences, friendships, and reading. Many consider this the best autobiography ever written.
Public domain, readily available including here at MR: Kindle
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Old 05-04-2014, 03:09 AM   #13
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I second The Education of Henry Adams.
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Old 05-04-2014, 03:35 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by Bookworm_Girl View Post
This is a fantastic time period and I have so many books on my TBR list!

I would like to nominate Under Western Eyes by Joseph Conrad published in 1911
Third it, I have read nothing by Conrad!

Ccowie, I loved Main Street, but I am tempted by other nominations I have not read.
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Old 05-04-2014, 08:39 AM   #15
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It looks like Age of Innocence by Edith Wharton was first published in 1920. Is the date range inclusive or exclusive? If inclusive, could I nominate this book?

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Winner of the 1921 Pulitzer Prize, The Age of Innocence is Edith Wharton’s masterful portrait of desire and betrayal during the sumptuous Golden Age of Old New York, a time when society people “dreaded scandal more than disease.”

This is Newland Archer’s world as he prepares to marry the beautiful but conventional May Welland. But when the mysterious Countess Ellen Olenska returns to New York after a disastrous marriage, Archer falls deeply in love with her. Torn between duty and passion, Archer struggles to make a decision that will either courageously define his life—or mercilessly destroy it.
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