15 April 2017 Susannah

Henry James – American novelist, born 15 April 1843

Henry James quote by Susannah Fullerton

HAPPY BIRTHDAY – Henry James, 15 April

Henry James in 1890

Henry James in 1890

My favourite Henry James novel is Washington Square which has perhaps one of the most devastating last lines of any novel. Poor Catherine Sloper has missed out on love with fortune-hunting Morris Townsend, and is left alone at the end sitting in the drawing room. “Catherine,… picking up her morsel of fancy-work, had seated herself with it again — for life, as it were.”

Henry James moved between Britain and the USA during his life and eventually became a British citizen. I envy him being able to live in Lamb House in Rye – both house and garden are really to die for! There he read his adored Jane Austen, entertained his many literary friends, and wrote his novels. I do find his style rather tortured in the later novels, but he does repay the effort that must go into reading him.

If you enjoy Henry James, you might like to read David Lodge’s excellent novel, Author! Author! or Colm Toibin’s very fine The Master. If you like detective fiction, you’ll enjoy all the references to Henry James in the Donna Leon novels set in Venice – inspector Guido Brunetti’s wife Paola studies James and teaches his novels.

Do you enjoy the work of Jenry James? Please let me know in the comment area below.

   Washington Square by Henry James
   Author, Author by David Lodge
   The Master By Colm Toibin

I only recommend books I have read and know. Some of these links are my affiliate links. If you buy a book by clicking on one of these links I receive a small commission. It doesn’t cost you anything extra, but does help cover the cost of producing my free newsletter.

 

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Body image credit- Henry James in 1890. By Unknown photographer – taken from the frontispiece of Short Story Classics (American) Volume Three, edited by William Patten, copyright 1905, printed by P.F. Collier & Son. Photographer unknown. Scanned by English Wikipedian, MakeRocketGoNow., Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=3345129

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