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Introduction

Part I: Biography

Part II: James’s Works
Novels
The Ambassadors (1903)
The American (1877)
The Awkward Age (1899)
The Bostonians (1886)
The Europeans (1878)
The Golden Bowl (1904)
The Portrait of a girl (1881)
The Princess Casamassima (1886)
Roderick Hudson (1875)
The Sacred Fount (1901)
The Spoils of Poynton (1897)
The Tragic Muse (1890)
Washington sq. (1880)
What Maisie Knew (1897)
The Wings of the Dove (1902)
Short tales and Novellas
“The Altar of the Dead” (1895)
“The Aspern Papers” (1888)
“The writer of ‘Beltraffio’” (1884)
“The Beast within the Jungle” (1903)
“Brooksmith” (1891)
“Crapy Cornelia” (1909)
“Daisy Miller: A Study” (1878)
“The demise of the Lion” (1894)
“The determine within the Carpet” (1896)
“Glasses” (1896)
“The nice stable Place” (1900)
“Greville Fane” (1892)
“An overseas Episode” (1878)
“In the Cage” (1898)
“The Jolly Corner” (1908)
“The Lesson of the Master” (1888)
“A London Life” (1888)
“The heart Years” (1893)
“The subsequent Time” (1895)
“Owen Wingrave” (1892)
“The Pupil” (1891)
“The genuine Thing” (1892)
“The tale of a Year” (1865)
“The flip of the Screw” (1898)
Nonfiction
The American Scene (1907)
“The paintings of Fiction” (1884)
Autobiographies
Correspondence
Criticism
Hawthorne (1879)
Prefaces to the recent York Edition
Travel writings

Part III: similar humans, areas, and Topics
the Aesthetic movement
Andersen, Hendrik Christian
anti-Semitism
Bosanquet, Theodora
Cambridge, Massachusetts
the Civil War
Coburn, Alvin Langdon
Conrad, Joseph
critical reception
drama
the Dreyfus affair
Du Maurier, George
Eliot, George
Emerson, Ralph Waldo
film adaptations
Florence, Italy
Fullerton, William Morton
Gosse, Sir Edmund
Howells, William Dean
the foreign theme
the Irish question
James, Alice
James, Henry, Sr.
James, William
Kemble, Frances (Fanny)
Kipling, Rudyard
La Farge, John
Lamb House
London, England
marriage
masculinity
modernism and modernity
Newport, Rhode Island
New York City
the ny Edition
Paris, France
periodicals
Perry, Thomas Sergeant
pragmatism
publishers
race and ethnicity
romance/realism/naturalism
Rome, Italy
Sargent, John Singer
sexuality
Stevenson, Robert Louis
Sturgis, Howard Overing
Swedenborg, Emanuel Switzerland
Symonds, John Addington
Temple, Mary
Venice, Italy
Victorianism
Walpole, Hugh
Ward, Mrs. Mary Humphry
Wells, Herbert George
Wharton, Edith
Wilde, Oscar
women’s issues
Woolson, Constance Fenimore
World battle I

Part IV: Appendices
Chronological
Bibliography of Works through Henry James
Selected Bibliography of Secondary Sources
Chronology of Henry James’s existence

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Extra resources for Critical Companion to Henry James: A Literary Reference to His Life and Work

Example text

Waymarsh represents his New England hometown of Milrose and its moral code. He is a rigorous, hardworking, financially successful American lawyer who views Europe as something of an ordeal. After three months of traveling, he wants nothing more “By Notre-Dame,” by A. L. Coburn, frontispiece to the first volume of The Ambassadors, Volume 21, the New York Edition 20 The Ambassadors than to go home. Strether, however, is already warming to Europe in general and Miss Gostrey in particular. In the course of the conversation, Waymarsh learns that Strether is in Europe to conduct some business for a friend, the widowed Mrs.

The Ambassadors is constructed around a remarkably simple scenario, and most of the action is social or emotional. Also, James does limit what the reader can see of the characters, and he works hard to conceal their passions and motives—but whether these are flaws or strengths of the novel is a matter of perspective. Indeed, most aspects of The Ambassadors are matters of perspective. The profound possibilities for observation in mundane, even in sordid situations, and the hidden depths of personality and desperation beneath the presentable exterior of the individual in society lie at the heart of the novel.

In truth, it is hard to see how the novel could have worked with any other narrative structure. The whole focus of the plot is on the evolving realization within Strether’s consciousness of the variety and intensity of life. If the reader were to see more or less than Strether at any point in the novel, the balance of the story would collapse, and the sense of epiphany that surrounds the final chapters would vanish into banality. The Ambassadors is a pioneering work of literary technique. It is the finest early example of a novel in which the controlled use of this limited perspective is integral to the plot and to the overall reading effect of the text.

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