The Spoils of Poynton

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Overview

"Mrs Gareth, widowed chatelaine of Poynton, is fighting to keep her house with its priceless objets d'art from her son Owen and his lovely, utterly philistine fiancee. When she discovers that her young friend and sympathizer Fleda Vetch is secretly in love with Owen, she thrusts her into the battle-line." "The power struggle that ensues between the three women leaves Owen vacillating. What is at stake is not the mere possession of tables and chairs; it is, for Fleda, a conflict between aesthetic ideals, ethical imperatives, and her innermost
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Overview

"Mrs Gareth, widowed chatelaine of Poynton, is fighting to keep her house with its priceless objets d'art from her son Owen and his lovely, utterly philistine fiancee. When she discovers that her young friend and sympathizer Fleda Vetch is secretly in love with Owen, she thrusts her into the battle-line." "The power struggle that ensues between the three women leaves Owen vacillating. What is at stake is not the mere possession of tables and chairs; it is, for Fleda, a conflict between aesthetic ideals, ethical imperatives, and her innermost feelings, in which she risks betraying, and being betrayed by, all that she holds most dear."--BOOK JACKET.
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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 Group (USA) Incorporated
  • Publication date: 3/28/1988
  • Series: Penguin Classics Series
  • Edition description: Reissue
  • Pages: 256
  • Sales rank: 957,509
  • Product dimensions: 5.20 (w) x 7.88 (h) x 0.63 (d)

Meet 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.

David Lodge is the author of twelve novels and a novella, including the Booker Prize finalists Small World and Nice Work. He is also the author of many works of literary criticism, including The Art of Fiction and Consciousness and the Novel.

Biography

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.

Author biography courtesy of Penguin Group (USA).

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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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