The Spoils of Poynton

( 1 )

Overview

Mrs Gereth is convinced that Fleda Vetch would make the perfect daughter-in-law. Only the dreamy, highly-strung young woman can genuinely appreciate, and perhaps eventually share, Mrs Gereth's passion for her 'things' - the antique treasures she has amassed at Poynton Park in the south of England. Owen Gereth, however, has inconveniently become engaged to the uncultured Mona Brigstock. As a dramatic family quarrel unfolds, the hesitating Fleda is drawn in, yet she remains reluctant to captivate Owen, who seems as...

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The Spoils of Poynton

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Overview

Mrs Gereth is convinced that Fleda Vetch would make the perfect daughter-in-law. Only the dreamy, highly-strung young woman can genuinely appreciate, and perhaps eventually share, Mrs Gereth's passion for her 'things' - the antique treasures she has amassed at Poynton Park in the south of England. Owen Gereth, however, has inconveniently become engaged to the uncultured Mona Brigstock. As a dramatic family quarrel unfolds, the hesitating Fleda is drawn in, yet she remains reluctant to captivate Owen, who seems as attracted to her as she is to him. Is she motivated by scruple or fear? In The Spoils of Poynton (1897), Henry James created a work of exquisite ambiguity in his depiction of three women fighting for the allegiance of one weak-willed man.

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Editorial Reviews

New York Times Book Review
It is sad to think that not one novel reader in ten thousand, probably, will be able to comprehend Mrs. Gareth's and Fleda Vetch's views of life, art, and conduct, leaving sympathy out of the question. But the appreciation of the one in ten thousand is worth working for, and the knowledge Mr. James must have that his delight in the book's subtlety and refinement, the grave, thoughtful piquancy which is its substitute for humor, will be keen while it lasts, is, perhaps, a sufficient reward. And counting all the tens of thousands of novel readers in the English speaking world, one from each of the tens of thousands will make up a company that is worth while. (New York Times -- Books of the Century)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780140432886
  • Publisher: Penguin Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 3/28/1988
  • Series: Penguin Classics Series
  • Edition description: Reissue
  • Pages: 256
  • Sales rank: 1,453,162
  • Product dimensions: 5.20 (w) x 7.88 (h) x 0.63 (d)

Meet the Author

Henry James (1843-1916) was born in New York and settled in Europe in 1875. He was a regular contributor of reviews, critical essays, and short stories to American periodicals. He is best known for his many novels of American and European character.

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

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 7, 2006

    To the Victor Belong the Spoils

    Here is Henry James at his peak. He is witty without being arch, intellectual without being obscure, sympathetic without being apologetic. It is relatively bare bones for Henry James. This novel is about half the size of most of his other ones. The realism is almost photographic. Descriptions of the spoils are ornate as a curator's catalogue. This novel is a challenge in that it is almost relentlessly sober. There are no indiscretions. No scandals are foreshadowed. The characters are upright. Nevertheless, this is an account of pride, stubborness and greed. It is riveting.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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