The American (Penguin Classics)

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9780140390827: The American (Penguin Classics)

Henry James's third novel is an exploration of his most powerful, perennial theme - the clash between European and American cultures, the Old World and the New. Christopher Newman, a 'self-made' American millionaire in France, falls in love with the beautiful aristocratic Claire de Bellegarde. Her family, however, taken aback by his brash American manner, rejects his proposal of marriage. When Newman discovers a guilty secret in the Bellegardes' past, he confronts a moral dilemma: Should he expose them and thus gain his revenge? James's masterly early work is at once a social comedy, a melodramatic romance and a realistic novel of manners.

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Christopher Newman, a 'self-made' American millionaire in France, falls in love with the beautiful a....

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Henry James' great theme is the collision of cultures, of New World American energy encountering Old World European aristocracy; and his supreme skill is in the delineation of the unspoken subtleties that govern human interaction-- the meanings behind people's words, the delicate signals by which people communicate more than the conventions of conversation or society allow.

The American is built around a moral dilemma that dramatises this clash of cultures. Wealthy, open-hearted Christopher Newman (the New Man in the Old World) visits Paris and falls in love with impoverished French aristocrat, Claire de Cintre. However, her snobbish family bully her into breaking off the engagement. When Newman discovers that his former fiancée's family are hiding a dark secret, corrupt Old World morals suggest he should use it to take his revenge; but his simpler American sense tells him that this would be wrong. What should he do? The fine touch with which James explores the complexities of this scenario markes an extraordinary advance over his first novel, Roderick Hudson; and The American looks forward to the mature classics of James' middle period, books like Daisy Miller and Portrai t of a Lady--all novels that explore the classic Jamesian theme of Americans in Europe. --Adam Roberts

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Book Description Penguin Books Ltd, United Kingdom, 1991. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Revised ed.. 196 x 127 mm. Language: English . Brand New Book. Henry James s third novel is an exploration of his most powerful, perennial theme - the clash between European and American cultures, the Old World and the New. Christopher Newman, a self-made American millionaire in France, falls in love with the beautiful aristocratic Claire de Bellegarde. Her family, however, taken aback by his brash American manner, rejects his proposal of marriage. When Newman discovers a guilty secret in the Bellegardes past, he confronts a moral dilemma: Should he expose them and thus gain his revenge? James s masterly early work is at once a social comedy, a melodramatic romance and a realistic novel of manners. Bookseller Inventory # APG9780140390827

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Book Description Penguin Books Ltd, United Kingdom, 1991. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Revised ed.. 196 x 127 mm. Language: English . Brand New Book. Henry James s third novel is an exploration of his most powerful, perennial theme - the clash between European and American cultures, the Old World and the New. Christopher Newman, a self-made American millionaire in France, falls in love with the beautiful aristocratic Claire de Bellegarde. Her family, however, taken aback by his brash American manner, rejects his proposal of marriage. When Newman discovers a guilty secret in the Bellegardes past, he confronts a moral dilemma: Should he expose them and thus gain his revenge? James s masterly early work is at once a social comedy, a melodramatic romance and a realistic novel of manners. Bookseller Inventory # APG9780140390827

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