Elizabeth Appleton

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First edition (publ. Random House)

Elizabeth Appleton is a novel by John O'Hara first published in 1963. The story is set mostly in Pennsylvania, and the time of the narrative stretches from the early 1930s to 1950.

The title character is a woman from a wealthy New York family who at a young age marries a scholar of modest means. They move to his hometown in Pennsylvania, where he becomes a history professor and later a college dean. Several years into the marriage, after having two children, she embarks on a passionate but extremely secret love affair with a wealthy and affable local man.

As in earlier novels, O'Hara minutely chronicles small-town life in America in the first half of the 20th century, especially its social and sexual mores.