Italian Hours (Penguin Classics)

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9780140435078: Italian Hours (Penguin Classics)

"The charm of certain vacant grassy spaces, in Italy, overfrowned by masses of brickwork that are honeycombed by the suns of centuries, is something that I hereby renounce once for all the attempt to express; but you may be sure that whenever I mention such a spot enchantment lurks in it." —Henry James

In these essays on travels in Italy written from 1872 to 1909, Henry James explores art and religion, political shifts and cultural revolutions, and the nature of travel itself. James's enthusiastic appreciation of the unparalleled aesthetic allure of Venice, the vitality of Rome, and the noisy, sensuous appeal of Naples is everywhere marked by pervasive regret for the disappearance of the past and by ambivalence concerning the transformation of nineteenth-century Europe. John Auchard's lively introduction and extensive notes illuminate the surprising differences between the historical, political, and artistic Italy of James's travels and the metaphoric Italy that became the setting of some of his best-known works of fiction. This edition includes an appendix of James's book reviews on Italian travel-writing.

For more than seventy years, Penguin has been the leading publisher of classic literature in the English-speaking world. With more than 1,700 titles, Penguin Classics represents a global bookshelf of the best works throughout history and across genres and disciplines. Readers trust the series to provide authoritative texts enhanced by introductions and notes by distinguished scholars and contemporary authors, as well as up-to-date translations by award-winning translators.

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About the Author:

Henry James (1843-1916), born in New York City, was the son of noted religious philosopher Henry James, Sr., and brother of eminent psychologist and philosopher William James. He spent his early life in America and studied in Geneva, London and Paris during his adolescence to gain the worldly experience so prized by his father. He lived in Newport, went briefly to Harvard Law School, and in 1864 began to contribute both criticism and tales to magazines.

In 1869, and then in 1872-74, he paid visits to Europe and began his first novel, Roderick Hudson. Late in 1875 he settled in Paris, where he met Turgenev, Flaubert, and Zola, and wrote The American (1877). In December 1876 he moved to London, where two years later he achieved international fame with Daisy Miller. Other famous works include Washington Square (1880), The Portrait of a Lady (1881), The Princess Casamassima(1886), The Aspern Papers (1888), The Turn of the Screw (1898), and three large novels of the new century,The Wings of the Dove (1902), The Ambassadors (1903) and The Golden Bowl (1904). In 1905 he revisited the United States and wrote The American Scene (1907).

During his career he also wrote many works of criticism and travel. Although old and ailing, he threw himself into war work in 1914, and in 1915, a few months before his death, he became a British subject. In 1916 King George V conferred the Order of Merit on him. He died in London in February 1916.

John Auchard
is a professor of English at the University of Maryland at College Park, and the editor of The Portable Henry James.

Review:

This annotated edition of Italian Hours offers us the precise differences between the world of Henry James saw in the Italy of his time and the one we see today. John Auchard's introduction and notes give the book a double function--the literary masterpiece is retained by acquires a practical function for the modern traveler. We learn, for example, where some of the paintings have been moved and what a century of wars has done to landscape and architecture. Above all, the eyes of the visiting American author and his prose voice turn the basic text into the poetry of travel, its visual and sensual delight, its mood, its atmosphere. --Leon Edel

Italian Hours is Henry James's most endearing travel book and one of the best of its kind by any American. His travel writing is a superb and integral part of his total output. John Auchard's editorial work on Italian Hours provide a significant contribution to the literature on James. Auchard is a wizard. His introduction is wise and skillful, informative, beautiful,, stylish, and fun. The notes are helpful, unobtrusive, and richly detailed. The photographs and bibliography should combine to make this edition the 'definitive' one for a century of devoted readers. --Robert L. Gale

Italian Hours is Henry James's most endearing travel book and one of the best of its kind by any American. His travel writing is a superb and integral part of his total output. John Auchard's editorial work on Italian Hours provide a significant contribution to the literature on James. Auchard is a wizard. His introduction is wise and skillful, informative, beautiful,, stylish, and fun. The notes are helpful, unobtrusive, and richly detailed. The photographs and bibliography should combine to make this edition the 'definitive' one for a century of devoted readers. --Robert L. Gale

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Book Description Penguin Books Ltd, United Kingdom, 1995. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Reprint. Language: English . Brand New Book. The charm of certain vacant grassy spaces, in Italy, overfrowned by masses of brickwork that are honeycombed by the suns of centuries, is something that I hereby renounce once for all the attempt to express; but you may be sure that whenever I mention such a spot enchantment lurks in it. - Henry James In these essays on travels in Italy written from 1872 to 1909, Henry James explores art and religion, political shifts and cultural revolutions, and the nature of travel itself. James s enthusiastic appreciation of the unparalleled aesthetic allure of Venice, the vitality of Rome, and the noisy, sensuous appeal of Naples is everywhere marked by pervasive regret for the disappearance of the past and by ambivalence concerning the transformation of nineteenth-century Europe. John Auchard s lively introduction and extensive notes illuminate the surprising differences between the historical, political, and artistic Italy of James s travels and the metaphoric Italy that became the setting of some of his best-known works of fiction. This edition includes an appendix of James s book reviews on Italian travel-writing. Bookseller Inventory # AAZ9780140435078

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