James, Henry The Wings of the Dove

ISBN 13: 9780001053113

The Wings of the Dove

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9780001053113: The Wings of the Dove

HarperCollins UK Audio Classics presents abridged and unabridged readings of the world's favorite literary masterpieces. Among the distinguished readers are Christopher Lee, Derek Jacobi, Simon Callow, Linus Roache, Elizabeth McGovern, Terry Jones, Peter Firth, and Rufus Sewell. Each package of cassettes in the Audio Classics series is beautifully packaged and shrink-wrapped.

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Product Description:

When Milly Theale travels to London she meets Kate Croy, and is introduced to her love, Merton Densher. Kate is facing an impossible choice - either marry the man she loves, or give him up in order to take her rightful place in society.

Review:

The Wings of the Dove is a classic example of Henry James's morality tales that play off the naiveté of an American protagonist abroad. In early-20th-century London, Kate Croy and Merton Densher are engaged in a passionate, clandestine love affair. Croy is desperately in love with Densher, who has all the qualities of a potentially excellent husband: he's handsome, witty, and idealistic--the one thing he lacks is money, which ultimately renders him unsuitable as a mate. By chance, Croy befriends a young American heiress, Milly Theale. When Croy discovers that Theale suffers from a mysterious and fatal malady, she hatches a plan that can give all three characters something that they want--at a price. Croy and Densher plan to accompany the young woman to Venice where Densher, according to Croy's design, will seduce the ailing heiress. The two hope that Theale will find love and happiness in her last days and--when she dies--will leave her fortune to Densher, so that he and Croy can live happily ever after. The scheme that at first develops as planned begins to founder when Theale discovers the pair's true motives shortly before her death. Densher struggles with unanticipated feelings of love for his new paramour, and his guilt may obstruct his ability to avail himself of Theale's gift. James deftly navigates the complexities and irony of such moral treachery in this stirring novel.

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