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Hawthorne By Henry James
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Originally published in 1879, in this critique of one literary genius by another, James not only considers Hawthorne as a man and a writer, but he uses his subject as a vantage point from which to... More > present his views on American culture. James assesses the place of the writer in 19th-century America as well as the disparate values of the Old World and the New.< Less
The Reverberator By Henry James
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The Reverberator is a short novel by Henry James, first published as a serial in Macmillan's Magazine in 1888 and then as a book later the same year. Accurately described by the leading web authority... More > on Henry James as a "a delightful Parisian bonbon," this graceful comedy traces the complications that result when nasty but true stories about a Paris family get into the American scandal sheet of the novel's title.< Less
The Other House By Henry James
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This terse and startling novel, written just before The Spoils of Poynton and What Maisie Knew,is the story of a struggle for possession—and of its devastating consequences. Three women seek to... More > secure the affections of one man, while he, in turn, tries to satisfy them all. But in the middle of this contest of wills stands his unwitting and vulnerable young daughter. The savage conclusion of The Other House makes it one of the most disturbing and memorable of Henry James's depictions of the uncontrollable passions that lie beneath the polished veneer of civilized life.< Less
The Tragic Muse By Henry James
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Lady Agnes's idea had been that her son should go straight from the Palais de l'Industrie to the Hôtel de Hollande, with or without his mother and his sisters, as his humour should seem to... More > recommend. Much as she desired to see their brilliant kinswoman and as she knew that her daughters desired it, she was quite ready to postpone their visit, if this sacrifice should contribute to a speedy confrontation for Nick.< Less
The Spoils of Poynton By Henry James
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Only she can genuinely appreciate, and perhaps eventually share, Mrs. Gereth's own passion for the exquisite antique treasures she has amassed at Poynton Park. Her son Owen, though, has engaged... More > himself to be married to the embarrassingly "nouveau" philistine Mona Brigstock.A dramatic family quarrel unfolds, drawing Fleda, James's hesitating heroine, into its heart. Why is it that Fleda seems to be incapable of capturing Owen, remaining silent while her love for him is so evidently returned? Is she motivated by scruple or perversity? Is hers a true renunciation or dilemma springing fromm sexual ignorance or neurosis?< Less
What Maisie Knew By Henry James
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What Maisie Knew represents one of James's finest reflections on the rites of passage from wonder to knowledge, and the question of their finality. The child of violently divorced parents, Maisie... More > Farange opens her eyes on a distinctly modern world.< Less
The Awkward Age By Henry James
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Nanda Brookenham is 'coming out' in London society. Thrust suddenly into the vicious, immoral circle that has gathered round her mother, she even finds herself in competition with Mrs Brookenham for... More > the affection of the man she admires. Light and ironic in its touch, The Awkward Age nevertheless analyzes the English character with great subtlety. The Awkward Age, which has been much praised for its natural dialogue and the delicacy of feeling it conveys, exemplifies Conrad's remark that James 'is never in deep gloom or in violent sunshine. But he feels deeply and vividly every delicate shade.'< Less
The Sacred Fount By Henry James
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"The Sacred Fount," first published in 1901, is a novel by Henry James. This strange, often baffling book concerns an unnamed narrator who attempts to discover the truth about the love... More > lives of his fellow-guests at a weekend party in the English countryside. He spurns the "detective and keyhole" methods as ignoble, and instead tries to decipher these relationships purely from the behavior and appearance of each guest. He expends huge resources of energy and ingenuity on his theories, much to the bemusement of some people at the party.< Less
The Wings of the Dove By Henry James
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Set amid the splendor of London drawing rooms and gilded Venetian palazzos, 'The Wings of the Dove' is the story of Milly Theale, a naïve, doomed American heiress, and a pair of lovers, Kate... More > Croy and Merton Densher, who conspire to obtain her fortune. In this witty tragedy of treachery, self-deception, and betrayal, Henry James weaves together three ill-fated and wholly human destinies unexpectedly linked by desire, greed, and salvation.< Less
The Ambassadors By Henry James
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When Chadwick Newsome, a young American favoured with fortune and independence, becomes entangled in a liaison dangereux with a Parisian temptress, his overbearing mother deploys her future husband,... More > the elderly, amiable Strether, as an ambassador to engineer his safe return. But seduced by the ambient charms of Paris and the bewitching comtesse de Vionnet, Strether soon deserts to Chadwick's side, initiating a sparkling tale of mistaken intentions, comic accident and false allegiances which culminates in the deployment of another, less fallible ambassador - the cold, glittering, ruthless Sarah Pocock. The Ambassadors is a dark comedy initially published in 1903 and was considered by Henry James himself his best work.< Less