The Spoils of Poyntonby Henry James
A dramatic family quarrel unfolds, drawing Fleda, James's hesitating heroine, into its/i>
Only she can genuinely appreciate, and perhaps eventually share, Mrs. Gereth's own passion for the exquisite antique treasures she has amassed at Poynton Park. Her son Owen, though, has engaged himself to be married to the embarrassinglynouveauphilistine Mona Brigstock.
A dramatic family quarrel unfolds, drawing Fleda, James's hesitating heroine, into its heart. Why is it that Fleda seems to be incapable of capturing Owen, remaining silent while her love for him is so evidently returned? Is she motivated by scruple or perversity? Is hers a true renunciation or dilhemma springing fromm sexual ignorance or neurosis?
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 andNice Work. He is also the author of many works of literary criticism, including The Art of Fiction andConsciousness and the Novel.
- Date of Birth:
- April 15, 1843
- Date of Death:
- February 28, 1916
- Place of Birth:
- New York, New York
- Place of Death:
- London, England
- Attended school in France and Switzerland; Harvard Law School, 1862-63
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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.