Can you contribute to The Age of Innocence?


The Drum Book Club is now open for contributions.  Anyone can add a bookmark, Setting place, review or glossary item.  Best of all, every one of your contributions will be credited individually to you.

The inaugural profile is Edith Wharton's masterpiece of romance and manners, The Age of Innocence. We hope you've been reading it in the two weeks since our last newsletter, but if not there's still time to get started. We will use the Oxford World's Classics edition (9780199540013) to set the page numbers, but you can read a different edition, or the free Gutenberg ebook available online.

You'll find the OWC edition in most good bookshops, or you can order a copy online:

The Age of Innocence (Oxford World's Classics) (UK)
The Age of Innocence (Oxford World's Classics) (USA)


Once you've read the book, the only question will be what to contribute! You can write a standard book review, or add a couple of glossary terms, or create one of the main Setting places:

New York

St Augustine, Florida

Newport, Rhode Island

Boston, Massachusetts

London, England

Paris, France

New York Society in the 1870s

Alternatively, you can create a bookmark or two.  We've identified some really interesting potential bookmarks, listed below with their OWC page numbers.  If you'd like to add other bookmarks, and you don't have the OWC edition, please use the number 300 and we'll insert the OWC page number for you.

Whether you're interested in art, fashion, history, food, music, mythology, literature, high society or carriage design, at least a few of these will be right up your street!  So pick a bookmark and start writing...


3 Christine Nilsson was singing in Faust

3 the Academy of Music

3 a new Opera House

3 more convenient ‘Brown coupé.’

3 at the back of the club box

3 the curtain had just gone up on the garden scene

4 finial-topped chairs

4 he loves me – he loves me not – he loves me!

4 the little brown Faust-Capoul

5 a modest tulle tucker

5 the floral pen-wipers

5 Mr Luther Burbank’s far-off prodigies

5 a reticule dangling from a blue girdle

6 the march from Lohengrin

7 when to wear a black tie with evening clothes

7 pumps versus patent-leather ‘Oxfords’

7 a ‘Josephine look,’

8 the old Opera-house on the Battery

9 an inaccessible wilderness near the Central Park

10 the private hotels of the Parisian aristocracy

10 among pre-Revolutionary furniture and souvenirs of the Tuileries of Louis Napoleon

10 like her Imperial namesake

10 the intimate friend of Mme Taglioni

10 the ‘made dishes’

11 the Mephistopheles-and-Martha scenes

11 preparing to enter the lists as the lady’s champion

13 in knickerbockers and pantalettes

13 thought ‘provincial’ to put a ‘crash’ over the drawing-room floor

14 droit de cité

15 My wife’s gloxinias

15 gets them out from Kew

15 hot canvas-back ducks

15 Veuve Clicquot without a year

15 just before the Jewel Song

15 a vista of enfiladed drawing-rooms

16 furnished with Buhl and malachite

16 putting on their dancing gloves

16 the much-discussed nude of Bouguereau

16 the dashing aigrettes

16 highly glazed shirt-fronts and fresh glacé gloves

17 the soft waves of the Blue Danube

17 made the cup of his bliss overflow (Biblical origin?)

19 certain other old family houses in University Place and lower Fifth Avenue (whose?)

19 cabbage-rose-garlanded carpets

19 the frivolous upholstery of the Second Empire

20 a looped-back yellow damask portière

20 the love-scenes of ‘Monsieur de Camors’

21 by the great Ferrigiani

21 don’t wait till the bubble’s off the wine

22 in Madison Square

24 The Marble Faun

24 the Archer Madeira had gone round the Cape

24 they cultivated ferns in Wardian cases

24 subscribed to ‘Good Words’, and read Ouida’s novels

24 Dickens, who ‘had never drawn a gentleman’

24 considered Thackeray less at home in the great world than Bulwer

24 learned persons who read Ruskin

24 an elderly embonpoint

26 with Living Wax-Works

26 safe past the Siren Isle

29 a Carcel lamp with engraved globe

32 in the books on Primitive Man (what were they, in the 1870s?)

32 the Idyls of the King

32 Ulysses and the Lotus Eaters

33 as Thackeray’s heroes so often exasperated him by doing

33 the Babes in the Wood

33 a Roman punch

35 signed the Declaration

35 received General Burgoyne’s sword after the battle of Saratoga

35 the Pitts and Foxes

35 Count de Grasse

35 the first Dutch governor of Manhattan

35 fought under Cornwallis

36 Gainsborough’s ‘Lady Angelica du Lac.’

36 portrait by Huntington

36 Venetian point

36 as fine as a Cabanel

37 a green rep curtain

39 the boom of a minute-gun

40 next summer’s International Cup Race

40 the seventeen-hand chestnuts

41 Esther interceding with Ahasuerus

41 the great C-spring barouche

41 No one but Patti ought to attempt the Sonnambula

42 dancing a Spanish shawl dance

42 singing Neapolitan love-songs

42 she could turn it into Manzoni

42 drawing from the model

42 playing the piano in quintets

42 a ball at the Tuileries

42 a yacht at Cowes

42 a kind of sulphurous apotheosis

43 their standing in Debrett

44 East India Company

44 an Isabey miniature

44 like another recent ducal visitor (who?)

46 looked like a Diana just alight from the chase

47 far down West Twenty-third Street

49 a phrase out of Dante and Petrarch

49 John Addington Symonds, Vernon Lee’s ‘Euphorion,’ the essays of P.G. Hamerton

49 ‘The Renaissance’ by Walter Pater

49 He talked easily of Botticelli, and spoke of Fra Angelico with a faint condescension

50 of the Italian school

50 Rogers statuettes

50 Jacqueminot roses

50 built in a ghastly greenish-yellow stone

50 sham Buhl tables and gilt vitrines full of modern Saxe

51 ‘sincere’ Eastlake furniture

51 a stepper’s hoofs

53 bargaining for attar-of-roses in Samarkand

53 arctics for a New York winter

55 do you want to hear Sarasate

58 some of the new ideas in his scientific books

58 the Kentucky cave-fish

59 in the rue de la Paix

59 a pair of black cobs

60 Swinburne’s ‘Chastelard’

60 a volume of the ‘Contes Drôlatiques,’

60 she hovered Cassandra-like before him

63 a humming-bird-feather screen

68 Are we only Pharisees after all?

69 The Death of Chatham

69 The Coronation of Napoleon

70 their damned heathen marriage settlements (property ownership in marriage)

72 Edwin Booth and Patti and William Winter

72 the new Shakespearian actor George Rignold

72 Washington Irving, Fitz-Greene Halleck and the poet of ‘The Culprit Fay.’

72 we knew everybody between the Battery and Canal Street

72 gala nights at the Italiens

73 the talk of Mérimée

73 he met them at the Century

73 Paul Bourget, Huysmans, and the Goncourt brothers

74 a close-fitting armour of whale-boned silk

74 the new painter, Carolus Duran

74 the sensation of the Salon

75 the little oyster supper I’d planned for you at Delmonico’s

75 with Campanini and Scalchi

80 at Wallack’s theatre

80 The play was ‘The Shaughraun,’

81 as fine as anything he had ever seen Croisette and Bressant do in Paris

81 or Madge Robertson and Kendal in London

91 the delicious play of Labiche

91 a spin in the ice-boat

92 he borrowed a cutter

92 in the steel-engraving style

95 rows of Delft plates

96 this new dodge for talking along a wire

96 allusions to Edgar Poe and Jules Verne

97 bounded by the Battery and the Central Park

98 a new volume of Herbert Spencer

98 Alphonse Daudet’s brilliant tales

98 a novel called ‘Middlemarch’

98 The House of Life  (inspiration for The House of Mirth?)

99 the sandy main street of St Augustine

100 when a man-of-war came in

101 Sonnets from the Portuguese

101 How they brought the Good News from Ghent to Aix

101 dancing at the Assemblies now

103 the ruinous garden of the Spanish Mission

103 Granada and the Alhambra

103 the Easter ceremonies at Seville

107 a black velvet polonaise with jet buttons

109 he took French leave

110 a shaggy yellow ulster of ‘reach-me-down’ cut

110 what the French called a ‘Macfarlane.’

112 the Direct Contact

116 miscellaneous heap of overshoes, shawls and tippets

119 Ah, don’t make love to me! (clarify meaning)

125 the chancel step of Grace Church

126 Handel’s March swelled pompously

126 the imitation stone vaulting

128 in her enormous Bath chair

129 the first chords of the Spohr symphony

130 the Mendelssohn March

130 with big white favours on their frontlets

130 curvetting and showing off

131 the endless wooden suburbs

132 pose for a Civic Virtue

133 the monumental Britannia ware

134 one night at Botzen

134 alighted at Brown’s Hotel

135 made macramé lace

135 read the memoirs of the Baroness Bunsen

136 Why not wear your wedding-dress?

136 Worth hasn’t sent it back

136 July at Interlaken and Grindelwald

136 a little place called Etretat

136 the fascinating new game of lawn tennis

136 the Paris cafés chantants

136 an audience of ‘cocottes’

138 in the hansom

138 a scorn that Pocahontas might have resented

139 his last symposium

139 had had to leave Harrow

139 the milder air of Lake Leman

140 frequented the Goncourt grenier

140 been advised by Maupassant

140 quant à soi

140 a second secretaryship at Bucharest

143 The Newport Archery Club

144 At the Century

144 at the Knickerbocker

144 Mount Desert

145 a limp Leghorn hat

146 delicious solitude at Portsmouth

146 The steam-yacht, built in the Clyde

147 a new Meissonnier or Cabanel

148 victorias, dog-carts, landaus and ‘vis-à-vis,’

148 down Narragansett Avenue

148 a many-peaked and cross-beamed cottage-orné

149 the fringe of the anti-macassars

149 leave it in fee to your eldest girl

149 all these gods and goddesses

150 revealing old silent images in their painted tomb

151 the glint of the Lime Rock

151 the heroic light-house keeper, Ida Lewis

151 the flat reaches and ugly government chimneys of Goat Island

151 to Prudence Island

151 the shores of Conanicut

151 the grey bastions of Fort Adams

151 the sail of a catboat

154 explore tombs in the Yucatan

154 the Cup Race day

154 thé dansant

156 turned down the Old Beach Road and drove across Eastman’s Beach

157 up the Saconnet

157 surmounted by a wooden Cupid

159 Doesn’t she remind you of Mrs Scott-Siddons

159 Lady Geraldine’s Courtship

159 She’s staying at the Parker House

160 out of the Fall River train

160 drove to the Somerset Club

161 walk across the Common

162 he’s always at Cowes or Baden

163 down to Point Arley

164 one of the new stylographic pens

165 the plush-lined ‘herdic’

173 When you ask for a porter they give you chewing-gum

174 A horse-car received him

178 the rugged features of the President of the United States (which one?)

180 the Reverend Dr Ashmore

180 a text from Jeremiah (chap. ii., verse 25)

186 kept properly trimmed

189 his failure promised to be one of the most discreditable in the history of Wall Street (real cases?)

189 the high staggering omnibuses of the Fifth Avenue line

192 sent on approval from Ball and Black’s

193 rosewood ‘Bonheur du Jour’

193 the brass ledge of the Western Union office

196 who should meet her at Jersey City

199 met Archer at the ferry

199 the Pennsylvania terminus

199 there would one day be a tunnel under the Hudson through which the trains of the Pennsylvania railway would run straight into New York

202 I’ve had to look at the Gorgon

202 the piles of the slip

206 under a Spartan smile

206 a volume of Michelet

215 a passing by on the other side

215 Adelaide Neilson in Romeo and Juliet

216 There’s the Art Museum

216 the popular ‘Wolfe collection’

216 cast-iron and encaustic tiles

216 Cesnola antiquities

216 recovered fragments of Ilium

216 Some day, I suppose, it will be a great Museum

220 bringing the student lamp

223 asked where Morny’s money came from

230 thickest gilt-edged bristol

233 the Venus of Milo

233 Verbeckhoven ‘Study of Sheep,’

234 sailing tomorrow in the Russia

237 dressed by Poole

237 typewriter this time

241 the inauguration of the new galleries at the Metropolitan Museum

241 the ample magnificent irreplaceable Bishop

242 Nobody nowadays had ‘Colonial’ houses

242 the Governor of New York, coming down from Albany

242 the active service to which Theodore Roosevelt had pointed

243 founding the Grolier Club

243 inaugurating the new Library

243 carried off by the infectious pneumonia

244 with English mezzotints

244 the Archer vault in St Mark’s

244 as the altered fashion required

245 unhooked the transmitter

245 Mauretania

246 Rheims and Chartres

248 the wide silvery prospect of the Place Vendôme

248 the new-fangled ‘palaces.’

248 the century-long home of kings and emperors

249 the score of the last Debussy songs

249 go to the Grand-Guignol

249 to the Assomption

250 lunch at Henri’s

251 walked across the Place de la Concorde and the Tuileries gardens

251 the bridge that leads to the Chamber of Deputies

251 talking excitedly and abundantly of Versailles

252 the great tree-planted space before the Invalides

252 The dome of Mansart

253 moving toward the porte-cochère he put his head into the porter’s lodge