Daisy Miller (Penguin Classics)

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9780140432626: Daisy Miller (Penguin Classics)

"Daisy Miller" is a fascinating portrait of a young woman from Schenectady, New York, who, traveling in Europe, runs afoul of the socially pretentious American expatriate community in Rome. First published in 1878, the novella brought American novelist Henry James(1843-1916), then living in London, his first international success. Like many of James's early works, it portrays a venturesome American girl in the treacherous waters of European society - a theme that would culminate in his 1881 masterpiece, "The Portrait of a Lady." On the surface, "Daisy Miller" unfolds a simple story of a young American girl's willful yet innocent flirtation with a young Italian, and its unfortunate consequences. But throughout the narrative, James contrasts American customs and values with European manners and morals in a tale rich in psychological and social insight. A vivid portrayal of Americans abroad and a telling encounter between the values of the Old and New Worlds, "Daisy Miller" is an ideal introduction to the work of one of America's greatest writers of fiction.

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From the Back Cover:

The story of a beautiful and reckless young American woman in Europe, this novella is one of Henry James's most enduringly popular works. Charming but inscrutable, Daisy Miller shocks European society with her casual indifference to its social rules, and finally drives away Winterbourne, the serious American man who tries to "rescue" her. Portrayed with remarkable subtlety, Daisy is a character whose complexity has intrigued generations of readers.In addition to a critical introduction and selections from Henry James's dramatic adaptation of Daisy Miller, this edition provides a rich selection of contextual materials on James's theories of fi ction and drama, nineteenth-century travel, "the new woman" of the era, and the history of medicine.

From the Inside Flap:

Originally published in "The Cornhill Magazine in 1878 and in book form in 1879, "Daisy Miller brought Henry James his first widespread commercial and critical success. The young Daisy Miller, an American on holiday with her mother on the shores of Switzerland's Lac Leman, is one of James's most vivid and tragic characters. Daisy's friendship with an American gentleman, Mr. Winterbourne, and her subsequent infatuation with a passionate but impoverished Italian bring to life the great Jamesian themes of Americans abroad, innocence versus experience, and the grip of fate. As Elizabeth Hardwick writes in her Introduction, Daisy Miller "lives on, a figure out of literature who has entered history as a name, a vision."

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