It is a January evening in 1870s New York City and the fashionable are attending the opera

It is a January evening in 1870s New York City and the fashionable are attending the opera

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It is a January evening in 1870s New York City and the fashionable are attending the opera. As  young Newland Archer, lawyer and man about town, gazes up at his soon-to-be fianc é , May  Welland, in the Mingott-family opera box, he is disconcerted by the arrival of May's cousin, the  Countess Ellen Olenska, who has left her profligate but wealthy Polish husband. To discourage  gossip, Newland decides to announce his and May's engagement at the Beaufort's ball that night. All of old New York is at the ball, gossiping about the Countess. Later, when the family plans a dinner  to introduce her to society, no one accepts. Without delay, the Mingott family enlist the help of  ancient social sages, Henry and Louisa van der Luyden, to shore up support by inviting old New  York to a dinner it cannot refuse. In this way they introduce the exotic Countess, and she finds New 
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