Collected in this Library of America volume (and its companion) for the first time, Henry James’s travel books and essays display his distinctive charm and vivacity of style, his sensuous response to the beauty of place, and his penetrating, sometimes sardonically amusing analysis of national characteristics and customs. Observant, alert, imaginative, these works remain unsurpassed guides to the countries they describe, and they form an important part of James’s extraordinary achievement in literature.
This volume brings together James’s writing on Great Britain and America. The essays of English Hours (1905) convey the freshness of James’s “wonderments and judgments and emotions” on first encountering the country that became his adopted home for half a century. James includes the vivid account of a New Year’s weekend at a perfectly appointed country house, midsummer dog days in London, and the spectacle of the Derby at Epsom. Joseph Pennell’s delightful illustrations, which appeared in the original edition, are reprinted with James’s text.
In The American Scene (1907) James revisits his native country after a twenty-year absence, traveling throughout the eastern United States from Boston to Florida. James’s poignant rediscovery of what remained of the New York of his childhood (“the precious stretch of street between Washington Square and Fourteenth Street”) contrasts with his impression of the modern, commercial New York, a new city representing “a particular type of dauntless power.” Edmund Wilson, who praised The American Scene’s “magnificent solidity and brilliance,” remarked that “it was as if. . . his emotions had suddenly been given scope, his genius for expression liberated.”
Sixteen essays on traveling in England, Scotland, and America conclude this volume. The essays, most of which have never been collected, range from early pieces on London, Saratoga, and Newport, to articles on World War One that are among James’s final writings.
LIBRARY OF AMERICA is an independent nonprofit cultural organization founded in 1979 to preserve our nation’s literary heritage by publishing, and keeping permanently in print, America’s best and most significant writing. The Library of America series includes more than 300 volumes to date, authoritative editions that average 1,000 pages in length, feature cloth covers, sewn bindings, and ribbon markers, and are printed on premium acid-free paper that will last for centuries.
|Publisher:||Library of America|
|Series:||Library of America Collected Nonfiction of Henry James Series , #3|
|Edition description:||New Edition|
|Product dimensions:||5.08(w) x 8.09(h) x 1.47(d)|
About 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. His many 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). He died in London in February 1916.
Richard Howard, volume editor, is a critic, translator, and Pulitzer Prize-winning poet. He is Professor of Practice in the School of the Arts of Columbia University.
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