The Awkward Age

The Awkward Age

by Henry James


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Mr. and Mrs. Edward Brookenham host an effete, rather corrupt social circle. They are the parents of worthless Harold and sweet but knowledgeable Nanda (age eighteen). Mr. Longdon attends one of their social functions and is amazed at how much Nanda resembles her grandmother, his long-ago love who married another man. Vanderbank, a young civil servant with little money, admires both Mrs. Brookenham (nicknamed "Mrs. Brook") and Nanda. Mrs. Brook seems to want an affair with "Van" but he appears more interested in Nanda. Mr. Longdon promises him a dowry if he marries Nanda.Mrs. Brook is instead trying to get her daughter married to Mitchy, a very rich but rather naive member of her social circle. But Nanda urges Mitchy to marry Aggie, the supposedly sheltered step-niece of one of Mrs. Brook's friends (the Duchess). Mitchy follows the advice, then watches helplessly as Aggie kicks over the traces and starts playing around on him. Van constantly hesitates about proposing to Nanda. She finally tells him and Mitchy to be kind to her mother, then prepares to stay at Mr. Longdon's country home as a kind of surrogate daughter.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9798605908241
Publisher: Independently published
Publication date: 01/29/2020
Pages: 364
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.81(d)

About the Author

Henry James, OM (15 April 1843 - 28 February 1916) was an American author regarded as a key transitional figure between literary realism and literary modernism, and is considered by many to be among the greatest novelists in the English language. He was the son of Henry James, Sr. and the brother of renowned philosopher and psychologist William James and diarist Alice James.

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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The Awkward Age 3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 8 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
If you enjoy a challenging read and works that require you to focus all of your concentration, this novel is for you. I found that you must carefully read and follow along, or you can quickly be lost in its pages. James requires his reader to question his or her own morality, and decide for themselves what is acceptable within the novel. The type of person you are definately reflects on how you view the plot. I loved it for its complexity and challenge- it isn't for the faint of heart!
Rafael Moreno More than 1 year ago
This was my first Henry James novel, and I specifically chose it because, after reading and hearing about the verbose and somewhat tortuous style used by the author in his latter works, I selected one of his shorter novels (I have used this method with many authors). Not only is this novel a poignant and totally engrossing story, but after reading many of James’ works, I consider The Awkward Age to be on the same level as any of his renowned masterpieces. By James standards, it is almost with a minimalist style that this novel is written, and to a great degree, this is perhaps why many critics may consider it a lesser work. James wrote this novel as if the reader was actually watching a play, and therefore he gave very little insight as to what the characters were thinking and feeling. He left it to the reader to figure it out. He could have written it in the same style as The Bostonians, but in all likelihood James had moved on from this style. Perhaps he may have been experimenting with stream of consciousness, but when compared to works like Virginia Woolf’s To The Lighthouse and Mrs. Dalloway, this novel does not exactly fit that category. I would have given this novel five stars (it is truly excellent), but I would like to give future readers of The Awkward Age the chance to read and absorb (or be absorbed) by this novel. It is a story of innocence, betrayal and ultimately, true love in an unexpected and unconventional way, by Victorian standards as well as ours.
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