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The American

The American

2.9 18
by Henry James
     
 

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Leon Edel writes of this novel: "Behind its melodrama and its simple romance is the history of man's dream of better worlds, travel to strange lands, and marriage to high and noble ladies. At the same time the book reveals a deep affection for American innocence and a deep awareness that such innocence carries with it a fund of ignorance. Its novelty lay in its

Overview

Leon Edel writes of this novel: "Behind its melodrama and its simple romance is the history of man's dream of better worlds, travel to strange lands, and marriage to high and noble ladies. At the same time the book reveals a deep affection for American innocence and a deep awareness that such innocence carries with it a fund of ignorance. Its novelty lay in its 'international' character, and it is spoken of as the first truly international novel."

Henry James was born into a distinguished New York family in 1843. From childhood his interests were more worldly and sophisticated than those held even by his peers. His eyes turned naturally to Europe, where he lived and wrote for a decade before settling in England in 1876.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
2940023854670
Publisher:
Houghton Mifflin company
Format:
NOOK Book
File size:
812 KB

Meet the Author

Henry James, OM (15 April 1843 - 28 February 1916) was an Anglo-American writer who spent the bulk of his career in Britain. He is regarded as one of the key figures of 19th-century literary realism. He was the son of Henry James, Sr. and the brother of philosopher and psychologist William James and diarist Alice James.

James alternated between America and Europe for the first 20 years of his life; eventually he settled in England, becoming a British subject in 1915, one year before his death. He is best known for a number of novels showing Americans encountering Europe and Europeans. His method of writing from the point of view of a character within a tale allows him to explore issues related to consciousness and perception, and his style in later works has been compared to impressionist painting.

James contributed significantly to literary criticism, particularly in his insistence that writers be allowed the greatest possible freedom in presenting their view of the world. James claimed that a text must first and foremost be realistic and contain a representation of life that is recognisable to its readers. Good novels, to James, show life in action and are, most importantly, interesting. His imaginative use of point of view, interior monologue and possibly unreliable narrators in his own novels and tales brought a new depth and interest to narrative fiction. An extraordinarily productive writer, in addition to his voluminous works of fiction he published articles and books of travel, biography, autobiography, and criticism, and wrote plays, some of which were performed during his lifetime, though with limited success. His theatrical work is thought to have profoundly influenced his later novels and tales.

Brief Biography

Date of Birth:
April 15, 1843
Date of Death:
February 28, 1916
Place of Birth:
New York, New York
Place of Death:
London, England
Education:
Attended school in France and Switzerland; Harvard Law School, 1862-63

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