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Henry James: Novels 1881-1886: Washington Square, The Portrait of a Lady, The Bostonians (English Edition) [Kindle Edition]

Henry James
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This volume in the Library of America's series on Henry James catches the author as he inaugurates his "middle period," the years when he wrote many of his best books. The three novels reprinted here concern women who must choose between competing alternatives. Catherine Sloper of Washington Square, plain and bookish, is romanced by the dashingly handsome Morris Townsend. But her father, sure that such a man could only love Catherine for her money, forbids her to see him. The young heroine of The Bostonians is torn between loyalty to her southern beau and her attraction to one of James's most unusual characters: a wealthy Boston feminist!

The Portrait of a Lady, arguably James's greatest novel, introduces us to Isabel Archer, a beautiful, vivacious, and independently minded American woman who travels to Europe and is seduced by its society. Her circle includes her terminally ill but deeply loving cousin, Ralph; the noble and adoring Lord Warburton; her witty and sarcastic friend Henrietta Stackpole; the meticulous aesthete Gilbert Osmond; the mysterious Madame Merle; and Caspar Goodwood, her passionate American suitor. Negotiating between the life each of them offers and represents, Isabel becomes part of one of the best books written about women's choices.

Movie buffs will be particularly interested in this volume, for all the novels in it have been made into films. The Bostonians was a Merchant-Ivory production in 1984. It starred Vanessa Redgrave as the feminist Olive Chancellor, sparring with southern gentleman Christopher Reeve! The Portrait of a Lady (1996), with Nicole Kidman and John Malkovich, was Jane Campion's opulent follow-up to The Piano. And Washington Square has been made into two major movies: the 1997 version starred Jennifer Jason- Leigh and Albert Finney; but the classic adaptation was William Wyler's 1949 film The Heiress, which starred Montgomery Clift, Ralph Richardson, Miriam Hopkins, and Olivia de Havilland in an Oscar-winning role. It's a real treat to read a superb book and then see how major filmmakers transform it into cinema that is compelling and entertaining it its own right. --Raphael Shargel


* A fantastic collection of three of Henry James' best-known novels in one superb digital edition.

* Contents:
- Washington Square
- The Portrait of a Lady
- The Bostonians

* Just as accessible and enjoyable for today's readers as they would have been when first published, the novels are some of the great works of American literature and continue to be widely read throughout the world.

* This meticulous digital edition from Heritage Publishing is a faithful reproduction of the original text.


  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • Dateigröße: 1512 KB
  • Seitenzahl der Print-Ausgabe: 1262 Seiten
  • Verlag: Heritage Publishing (5. Juni 2014)
  • Verkauf durch: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Sprache: Englisch
  • Text-to-Speech (Vorlesemodus): Aktiviert
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Aktiviert
  • Durchschnittliche Kundenbewertung: 4.0 von 5 Sternen  Alle Rezensionen anzeigen (1 Kundenrezension)
  • Amazon Bestseller-Rang: #140.310 Bezahlt in Kindle-Shop (Siehe Top 100 Bezahlt in Kindle-Shop)

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1 von 2 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
4.0 von 5 Sternen "Washinton Square" by Henry James 19. November 1999
Von Ein Kunde
Format:Gebundene Ausgabe
I enjoyed "Washington Square" thoroughly. I believe any highschool student should read this if they are looking for a "book" report. I found it captivating and I couldn't put the book down. However I was a little disappointed in how the ending turned out, but what can I do?
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14 von 15 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
3.0 von 5 Sternen Not the way to go for "Portrait" 6. März 2011
Von J. Melancon - Veröffentlicht auf
Format:Gebundene Ausgabe
The LOA editions of James are generally excellent and recommended, but their scholarly principle of choosing texts that represent James's first intentions presents a problem with "The Portrait of a Lady." As stated in the notes on the texts (p.1239), James "extensively revised" the novel for the New York Edition of 1908, "making this final version a very different book from the one that first appeared in 1881." It is the 1881 version that appears here, and it is inferior, if for no other reason than the abrupt ending (at the line "On which he looked up at her."). The 1908 edition adds just a few more lines -- brief, but breathtaking. If you're reading "The Portrait of a Lady" for the first time, definitely go for the revised version.
8 von 8 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen Good entree into James 1. Januar 2010
Von charles saydah - Veröffentlicht auf
Format:Gebundene Ausgabe|Verifizierter Kauf
You want a way to get into a formidable writer, one whose collective work fills up a goodly portion of the Library of America bookshelf -- here's your passport. The three novels in this LOA volume are James' earliest and in some ways his most accessible. The chronological biography in the back is very helpful, as are the notes. The presentation is typical Library of America -- crisp 10-point Linotron Galliard against the characteristic LOA white paper makes for easy reading. At roughly 400 words per page, movement through the work seems swift, a considerable boost to tackling a 600-page novel novel like "Portrait of a Lady."
James requires a developed taste. He writes of a time and about places and people who may seem remote to contemporary readers. Don't be put off by a failure to penetrate him. This is handsome and ultimately useful volume to have of your shelf in the event that someday you'll try James once again and discover that those people, those places and that time are closer than you thought.
8 von 10 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen The joys of love. . . . are but a moment long 22. November 2007
Von Allen Horne - Veröffentlicht auf
Format:Gebundene Ausgabe|Verifizierter Kauf
Henry James, packaged in a beautiful book, with dark print on white pages, is the king of the nuance. To read him, you slow down, you enter his world, a scene of dusk and mood and marrow and sorrow. A novel as sweet as the vision of a cool bath in a marble tub, in a darkened chamber, in a hot land. Characters who sometimes do not get exactly what they want even though they want it. One far removed from current events and politics and global warming and death-defying high wire acts of short-sighted greed which are all net and no tightrope. Far removed and yet existing at the core where the personal is burnt into the societal and where a man sitting on an ottoman while a woman stands next to a fireplace predicts the ruin of the state.
3 von 4 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen The Master at his best 11. Juni 2011
Von H. Schneider - Veröffentlicht auf
Format:Gebundene Ausgabe
This 2nd volume of the Library of America edition of Henry James' novels contains 3 novels from the 1880s. Two of them are among the best that James wrote. The other one is also much praised, but it is too long and mean, though deep enough to stay with you.

Washington Square: a short novel about stubborn people. Two men fight about a woman: her father wants her not to marry that windbag. That windbag wants to challenge the father about his plan to disinherit his daughter in the case of marriage. We can easily see that the girl might end up as collateral damage. It does not continue in such a clear cut way though.
I have been asked where to start with James. I am just a beginner myself, but I feel confident in saying that this one is just fine for the purpose of getting familiar. It is reasonably short at 200 pages. It is entertaining and accessible. There is nothing of the complicated ponderous language of some later works. The narrative is based on an all-knowing voice from the off, which reports and comments. Not exactly modern writing, but alive and sharp and observant.

The Portrait of a Lady: much too long. Much too misogynic: plenty of evil women. This novel is sometimes called HJ's best, but I don't see it that way. It starts like a mean comedy, where the author doesn't like any of his creatures. It meanders along and becomes in phases rather tedious. We find it hard to keep interest in a woman that is so despised by its creator. On the other hand, Isabel Archer has found her admirers, certainly in the novel, but also among readers and reviewers.
The strength of the novel lies in its `character development'. That is a criterion that I don't normally take all that serious, but here it is quite important. We stay with Isabel over longer periods and watch her grow up to some extent. She does have strength of character, but much of that is offset by lack of common sense. Typically for James, we begin to like her, or rather James likes her, only after she has lost her war. Victorious women can't be put in a positive light.
One of HJ's weaknesses is that he tells us a lot about his people, rather than letting us find out for ourselves. That forces us then to diagnose the people in the story plus the inventor of the story. An obvious gap in Isabel (and probably in HJ) is her sex life. She doesn't have any.

Finally, The Bostonians, one of James' most political and one of his funniest novels.
Also one of his most American ones. It is a triangle tale. A wealthy Bostonian feminist competes with her impoverished Southern cousin for the favors of an attractive young woman from the humanitarian Bohemia. The target of affection is a talented inspirational speaker with a pedigree: her mother is from an abolitionist family, and her father made a career as a spiritist and a mesmeric healer. Both competitors want to pull the girl out of this abominable world of quackery. She is a sympathetic soul who is keen to be useful to the movement. Liberating the girl from her squalid world looks like the right thing to do. He, on the other hand, is just a handsome joker who recognizes a pretty girl when he sees her. But the winner takes it all.
James at his best.
5.0 von 5 Sternen A rare literary triple crown 17. August 2014
Von Paul S. Jellinek - Veröffentlicht auf
Format:Gebundene Ausgabe|Verifizierter Kauf
Amazing to find three such extraordinary masterpieces of fiction between two covers. All three novels involve a fierce struggle for control over the life and soul of a young woman, and in each case it seems that the woman's own feelings are the least of anyone's concern. Beyond that, the only thing that these novels have in common is the sublime beauty of the writing. Some of the scenes--the lawn scene, for instance, in the opening pages of "Portrait" and the descriptions of rustic 19th century Cape Cod in the closing pages of "The Bostonians"--are among the most beautiful that I've encountered anywhere in literature and show how just thoroughly James had absorbed, and in many ways transcended, the writing of Turgenev and Flaubert. "Washington Square," the shortest and most accessible of the three, is a perfect gem. The true measure of James's genius is that he was actually able to improve on that perfection--by digging even deeper into the inner workings of his characters--in the two subsequent novels.
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