The Europeans: A Sketch (Penguin Classics)

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9780141441405: The Europeans: A Sketch (Penguin Classics)

An incomparable Henry Jamess novel in a new edition

Featuring a new introduction, it is a brilliant and sophisticated satire of manners and morals in the best Jamesian tradition. The Europeans, one of James?s most popular and optimistic novels, has at its center an expatriated American raised in Europe who, determined to find a new husband, flees from her crumbling marriage and travels to Boston with her younger brother.

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.


Philip Horne has spent a decade looking at the thousands of James's letters in archives in the United States and Europe. A Reader in English Literature at University College, London, he is the author of Henry James and Revision and the editor of the Penguin Classics edition of James's The Tragic Muse.

From AudioFile:

This companion to THE AMERICAN, though half as long and complex, pleases from first to last. Reading with an easy grace and cosmopolitan assurance, Eleanor Bron perfectly matches James's polished prose and urbane protagonists. Coming to Boston from Europe, Felix and his elder sister, the Baroness Eugenia, appear to mystify and dazzle their modest relations but really are perplexed by them. Bron's reading is alert with nuance. She alternates between energy and ennui as character or occasion dictates, voicing the characters lightly, in keeping with James's strong narrative control. In so doing, she mirrors perfectly both James's tense and ambiguous world, as well as his masterful control of that world. P.E.F. (c)AudioFile, Portland, Maine

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