This is the one-volume edition of a famous biography of Henry James, which includes new material. Born in America, Henry James was educated both there and in Europe before settling in London, where he was to spend most of his life, in 1876. His novels represent the culmination of the 19th-century realist tradition of Austen, George Eliot, Flauberty and Balzac, and a decisive step towards the experimental modernism of Woolf and T.S. Eliot. His works often focus upon an innocent American in Europe, and assess the qualities and dangers of both American and European culture at the time, as well as showing their vast differences. "A Portrait of a Lady", "The Ambassadors" and "The Golden Bowl" all explore this subject, whilst Honore de Balzac's "Eugenie Grandet" was so admired by James that he was inspired to write "Washington Square", his own version of the tale. James's works explore sexual roles, feminism and class conflict.
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By Leon EdelFrom Publishers Weekly:
More than a deft abridgment of Edel's classic, prize-winning five-volume James biography, this is an updated, partially rewritten version of it. Inclusive of new source material and without some of the "reticences" regarding James's passional life, it is essentially a new book. Into the outer story of James's lifethe early American years; the "passionate pilgrimages" to France and Italy; the friendships with many of Europe's preeminent writers, Flaubert, Zola, Turgenev, R. L. Stevenson, Kipling, Conrad and H. G. Wells among them; the disastrous failure in the theater; and the horror of World War IEdel weaves with perfect literary tact the inner story, that of the developing mind of a writer he calls the first of the psychological novelists and America's "one fully achieved literary artist," together with sensitive analyses of the novels. We see this most active contemplative, most subtle observer of human emotion, most dedicated pursuer of his craft in his imaginative workshop; and Edel indeed catches, to quote one of his innumerable telling phrases, something of "the radiance of his powerful artistry." Illustrations. November 13
Copyright 1985 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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