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Henry James was born in 1843 in Washington Place, New York, of Scottish and Irish ancestry. His father was a prominent theologian and philosopher and his elder brother, William, is also famous as a philosopher. He attended schools in New York and later in London, Paris and Geneva, entering the Law School at Harvard in 1862. In 1865 he began to contribute reviews and short stories to American journals. In 1875, after two prior visits to Europe, he settled for a year in Paris, where he met Flaubert, Turgenev and other literary figures. However, the next year he moved to London, where he became so popular in society that in the winter of 1878–9 he confessed to accepting 107 invitations. In 1898 he left London and went to live at Lamb House, Rye, Sussex. Henry James became a naturalized citizen in 1915, was awarded the Order of Merit and died in 1916.
In addition to many short stories, plays, books of criticism, autobiography and travel, he wrote some twenty novels, the first published being Roderick Hudson (1875). They include The Europeans, Washington Square, The Portrait of a Lady, The Bostonians, The Princess Casamassima, The Tragic Muse, The Spoils of Poynton, The Awkward Age, The Wings of the Dove, The Ambassadors and The Golden Bowl.
The Turn of the Screw tells the story of a young governess sent to a country house to take charge of two orphans. Unsettled by a sense of intense evil in the house she soon becomes obsessed with the idea that something malevolent is stalking the children in her care. Meanwhile The Aspern Papers explores obsession of a more worldly kind, with its tale of a literary historian determined to get his hands on some letters written by a great poet.Such is his drive, he is quite prepared to use trickery and deception to achieve his aims...
When Isabel Archer, a beautiful, spirited American is brought to Europe by her wealthy aunt Touchett, it is expected that she will soon marry. But Isabel, resolved to enjoy the freedom that her fortune has opened up and to determine her own fate, does not hesitate to turn down two eligible suitors. It is only when she finds herself irresistibly drawn to the cultivated but worthless Gilbert Osmond that she discovers that wealth is a two-edged sword and that there is a price to be paid for independence.With its subtle delineation of American characters in a European setting, Portrait of a Lady is one of the most accomplished and popular of Henry James's early novels.
Recipient of the Approved Edition seal from the Modern Language Association's Committee on Scholarly Editions This volume of The Complete Letters of Henry James, 1884-1886 includes 179 letters, 94 published for the first time, written between November 11, 1884, and December 21, 1885. The letters mark Henry James's ongoing efforts to care for his sister, develop his work, strengthen his professional status, build friendships old and new, and maximize his income. James details work on midcareer novels The Bostonians and The Princess Casamassima as well as on tales that would help to define his career. He reveals his close acquaintance with British politics and politicians. This volume opens with Alice James's arrival in England and concludes with Henry James's plans to leave his flat in Piccadilly for his new address in De Vere Gardens, Kensington.
Dearly Beloved Friends makes available an ample selection of James's personal and occasionally intimate letters -- many long withheld from publication -- to four men: the sculptor Hendrik Andersen, the dilettante Dudley Jocelyn Persse, and the writers Howard Sturgis and Sir Hugh Walpole. The letters reveal a warm and humorous man, far from the austere persona we usually associate with James. He clearly loved a number of those friends with a depth and eroticism previously noted but never so fully documented. Susan E. Gunter is Professor of English at Westminster College. Steven H. Jobe is Associate Professor of English at Hanover College.
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