One of Henry James' specialties is the longish short story that delves into philosophical questions via detailed character studies, and Eugene Pickering is a perfect example of this. In it, James compares and contrasts two archetypes: a bookish scholar who has remained largely sheltered for most of his life and a streetwise "doer" who is deeply engaged with the world around him. Which of these approaches represents the best way to live? As always, James entrusts the final judgment to his readers.
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About the Author
Date of Birth:April 15, 1843
Date of Death:February 28, 1916
Place of Birth:New York, New York
Place of Death:London, England
Education:Attended school in France and Switzerland; Harvard Law School, 1862-63