Washington Square (2 Cassettes)

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Overview

Washington Square (1881), by Henry James, tells the story of Catherine Sloper, the plain, obedient daughter of the widowed, well-to-do Dr. August Sloper of Washington Square. When a handsome, feckless man-about-town proposes to Catherine, her father forbids the marriage because he believes the man to be after Catherine's fortune and future inheritance. The conflict between father, daughter, and suitor provokes consequences in the lives of all three that make this story one of ...
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Overview

Washington Square (1881), by Henry James, tells the story of Catherine Sloper, the plain, obedient daughter of the widowed, well-to-do Dr. August Sloper of Washington Square. When a handsome, feckless man-about-town proposes to Catherine, her father forbids the marriage because he believes the man to be after Catherine's fortune and future inheritance. The conflict between father, daughter, and suitor provokes consequences in the lives of all three that make this story one of James's most piercingly memorable.
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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
The classics have become hot film properties, and the forthcoming feature film version of this book should bring readers into the library looking for the original.
Library Journal
In the late-19th-century world of James The Aspern Papers, Audio Reviews, LJ 1/93, upper-class New Yorkers move in an atmosphere of gentle melancholy, with just a touch of decadence. Catherine Sloper is neither brilliant nor charming, merely good. She is also the heiress Mr. Townsend wants to marry. Her father wants to protect her, or is it that he is more concerned with thwarting a defiant bounder? Her aunt uses Catherine's romance as an opportunity to add drama to her own life. Who will win? What is winning in this situation? Most of the book is devoted to a delicate exploration of the thoughts, activities, and motivations of a small group of people. William Hope delivers a clear and competent performance of the text. The question becomes, as Henry James is not a highly popular author, is there a significant audience for an abridged audio of his work? His focus on human interplay rather than plot would seem to appeal to "full text" readers. For this reason, although a very good value, this audiobook is recommended only for larger public and academic libraries.--I. Pour-El, Iowa State Univ., Ames Copyright 1999 Cahners Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781565112735
  • Publisher: HighBridge Company
  • Publication date: 9/1/1998
  • Series: Classics Ser.
  • Format: Cassette
  • Edition description: Abridged, 2 Cassettes
  • Pages: 180
  • Product dimensions: 7.12 (w) x 0.75 (h) x 4.42 (d)

Meet the Author


HENRY JAMES was born in New York in 1842 and settled in Europe in 1875, spending more than two decades in London. He wrote some twenty novels including Portrait of a Lady, The Europeans, Washington Square, The Wings of a Dove, and Golden Bowl, in addition to many short stories, plays, and books of criticism, autobiography, and travel. James became a naturalized British citizen in 1915, was awarded the Order of Merit, and dies in 1916.
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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

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 11 )
Rating Distribution

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Sort by: Showing all of 11 Customer Reviews
  • Posted May 20, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    If You've Never Read Henry James, He is a Literary Experience You Shouldn't Miss Out On

    Henry James is the master of "showing" without "telling". Washington Square is a good book to start with if you are interested in this author. In some of his later books it might require some discussion to identify the antagonist, but it is not a lack of skill which makes this so. James writes his characters with such complexity that you feel as if you are spying on real people. The main character of Washington Square is a young woman who moves in the constricting circle of both society and her father's wishes. As a suitor presents himself for her hand, the reader will be silently deliberating his intentions. In the end, the reader will still be deliberating. Read it and discover the mystery/realism/skill of Henry James.

    7 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 4, 2004

    Henry James surpasses them all!

    In an age when trash like 'The Da Vinci Code' is hyped as great fiction and discussed by book clubs (such as one of mine) with a straight face, I rejoiced to read a novel that depended entirely on personality and character, something the incomparable James does here. The four principal characters, an entirely sympathetic heroine, her fairly worthless lover, her autocratic and unsympathetic father, and her meddlesome aunt, are set against one another masterfully. I urge you to read it, even to read it again.

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 7, 2005

    One of the BEST books

    To start out, I would like to explain how i dont like to read. I dont care for Mark Twain or many other classic authors. My mom had bought me this book over 5 years ago. I never read it because i just didnt take interest in it. One day I was bored and went over to my shelf and saw the book. I read the back and it seemed interesting. I live in NY so the fact that it takes place in NY fascinated me. I started reading it and never put the book down. I read it strait through without stopping. Its one of the best books if not the best I have ever read.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 29, 2014

    Henry James' Washington Square (1881) is one of his shorter nove

    Henry James' Washington Square (1881) is one of his shorter novels, but flows smoothly and has a plot that is easy to follow. Commas, dashes, and elongated sentences remain as prevalent as ever, although New York might be a less romantic setting than his European venues. Nevertheless, the theme of two adversaries competing for an innocent with the villain aided and abetted by a (not so) useful idiot is not atypical of James.
    Dr Austin Sloper is a well respected member of society who prides himself on being a good judge of character. His daughter Catherine, by contrast is deemed to be very average at best, both physically and intellectually. Indeed, general narration and Dr Sloper remind us of this so often that we may be forgiven for concluding that there must be more to this young woman than meets the eye. And to her credit, Catherine possesses tremendous intestinal fortitude and stoicism, both of which contribute to her ultimate survival, despite life's disappointments.
    Her suitor, Morris Townsend, is perceived as a ne'er-do-well gold digger by her father, who takes it upon himself to protect his daughter from this man, a handsome charmer who has very much won Catherine over. And while romantics may hope Townsend's intentions are honourable, readers learn early on that Dr Sloper's instincts are correct.
    On one hand, Dr Sloper does not appear to mind using his daughter as a pawn in a metaphorical chess match that he actually seems to enjoy. But then again, his positioning vis a vis Morris Townsend suggests that he genuinely has Catherine's best interests at heart. Indeed, he is protecting her from someone who will squander her fortune and subject her to a life of unrequited love. Surely there are better options and Dr Sloper seems more accepting of other suitors.
    The meddling and (not so) useful idiot is Catherine's aunt (and Dr Sloper's sister) Lavinia Penniman. Like Catherine, she is very much smitten with Morris Townsend and is quite willing to help him woo her niece. The good news for Catherine is that dear Aunt Penniman is no constructive help to Townsend, and merely possesses inflated notions of her own importance and ability to shape events. Again, James proves himself a literary giant who does not disappoint. He does a masterful job with character development and pitting adversary against adversary. In Catherine, he creates a sympathetic heroine and innocent who survives, gaining tremendous inner strength in the process. All of this is augmented by a well constructed and compact plot that is easy to comprehend.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 3, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    A light Read

    It was enjoyable.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 9, 2008

    A reviewer

    I had to read this book for school over the summer. It seemed as though it would be a great classical novel. I was sadly mistaken. The characters were plain and uninteresting. Catherine, not to mention her aunt, was annoying and pretty much spineless. This book was also way too long considering nothing happened. I had great hopes for the ending, but that too left me stunned and angry. There was a little plot build up at the end, but then once again nothing happened. In two words this book is a 'horse tranquilizer' and a complete waste of my time.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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    Posted October 31, 2010

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    Posted April 11, 2011

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    Posted April 24, 2010

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    Posted February 7, 2009

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    Posted July 16, 2013

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