The Jameses: A Family Narrative

Overview

Even if the James family hadn't given us both William the philosopher and psychologist, and Henry the novelist, the story of this quirky, wealthy, socially prominent clan would still be riveting. Full of incidents that would become legendary, The Jameses brings to life 150 years of unforgettable American history. Four 8-page inserts.
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Overview

Even if the James family hadn't given us both William the philosopher and psychologist, and Henry the novelist, the story of this quirky, wealthy, socially prominent clan would still be riveting. Full of incidents that would become legendary, The Jameses brings to life 150 years of unforgettable American history. Four 8-page inserts.
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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
In an exceptionally smoothly blended narrative, the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Edith Wharton traces the remarkable James family from William James of Albany, N.Y., who emigrated from Ireland in 1789 and founded the clan's fortune, to the death of novelist Henry in 1916. The main focus is on Henry Sr. and his three most prominent children: leading psychologist and thinker William; great novelist Henry, ``inveterate collector of impressions''; and Alice, political radical and frequent invalid. It was Henry Sr., with his fierce independence of lifestyle and many trips to Europe en famille , who provided the cultural seedbed for his children's intellectual development. Younger offspring ``Wilky,'' a Civil War hero, and the alcoholic ``Bob,'' tragic figures both, receive their share of attention. Above all, it's the story of a great family, one obsessed with the notion of family immediate and national, cleverly infused with quotes from and insights into their letters and books. Photos. (Aug.)
Library Journal
The story of the James family begins with William James of Albany, who emigrated from Ireland in 1789, prospered extravagantly, and left a fortune that enabled his son, Henry James Sr., to cultivate his philosophical and spiritual ideas, travel, and raise an outstanding literary/intellectual family. The focus is, of course, on the famous Jameses--William the psychologist, Henry Jr. the novelist, Alice the invalid diarist--and their interactions, crises, and creative development. But Lewis also interweaves the stories of the younger brothers (Garth Wilkinson and Robertson), as well as insights into the characters of the wives of the Jameses, and convincingly points out the moral and intellectual influence of Henry James Sr. on his many descendants. This very full and fascinating account of one of America's major families will interest students of literature and history as well as the general reader. Previewed in Prepub Alert, LJ 4/1/91.-- Richard Kuczkowski, Dominican Coll., Blauvelt, N.Y.
Booknews
Lewis presents an account of one of the foremost intellectual families in American history. He begins with the originator's, William James of Albany, emigration in 1789 from Ireland and concludes with the death in 1916 of the great novelist Henry James. The emphasis throughout is the family narrative and not the works produced by family members, although these are considered. The lives most detailed are those of the brothers William, the psychologist, and Henry, the novelist, along with their sister Alice, political radical and lifelong invalid. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780385424950
  • Publisher: Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 1/1/1993
  • Pages: 752

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