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The Spoils of Poynton
     

The Spoils of Poynton

5.0 2
by Henry James
 

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Widow Adela Gereth tells the sensitive and tasteful Fleda Vetch that she's afraid her son Owen will marry the coarse Mona Brigstock. Owen soon becomes engaged to Mona and wants to take over Poynton, the family home filled with Mrs. Gereth's carefully collected furniture and other art objects. He would like Fleda to help get his mother to leave the house with a minimum

Overview

Widow Adela Gereth tells the sensitive and tasteful Fleda Vetch that she's afraid her son Owen will marry the coarse Mona Brigstock. Owen soon becomes engaged to Mona and wants to take over Poynton, the family home filled with Mrs. Gereth's carefully collected furniture and other art objects. He would like Fleda to help get his mother to leave the house with a minimum of fuss.

Mrs. Gereth moves to Ricks, the smaller family house. Fleda visits the house and is unhappy that Mrs. Gereth has furnished it with the best pieces from Poynton. Owen says that Mona is angry with the "theft" of the valuable heirlooms. Meanwhile, Owen is becoming more attracted to Fleda instead of the crude Mona and eventually declares his love for her. Fleda insists that he honor his engagement to Mona unless she breaks it off.

Mrs. Gereth finally returns the fine furniture to Poynton. After a few days Owen and Mona are reported to be married, and they go abroad. Fleda gets a letter from Owen asking her to select any one piece from Poynton as hers to keep. Fleda goes to Poynton but finds it completely consumed by fire.

Editorial Reviews

New York Times Book Review
It is sad to think that not one novel reader in ten thousand, probably, will be able to comprehend Mrs. Gareth's and Fleda Vetch's views of life, art, and conduct, leaving sympathy out of the question. But the appreciation of the one in ten thousand is worth working for, and the knowledge Mr. James must have that his delight in the book's subtlety and refinement, the grave, thoughtful piquancy which is its substitute for humor, will be keen while it lasts, is, perhaps, a sufficient reward. And counting all the tens of thousands of novel readers in the English speaking world, one from each of the tens of thousands will make up a company that is worth while. (New York Times -- Books of the Century)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781544880136
Publisher:
CreateSpace Publishing
Publication date:
03/25/2017
Pages:
178
Product dimensions:
6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.38(d)

Meet the Author

Henry James (15 April 1843 - 28 February 1916) was an American-born British writer. He is regarded as one of the key figures of 19th-century literary realism.

Brief Biography

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

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The Spoils of Poynton 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Here is Henry James at his peak. He is witty without being arch, intellectual without being obscure, sympathetic without being apologetic. It is relatively bare bones for Henry James. This novel is about half the size of most of his other ones. The realism is almost photographic. Descriptions of the spoils are ornate as a curator's catalogue. This novel is a challenge in that it is almost relentlessly sober. There are no indiscretions. No scandals are foreshadowed. The characters are upright. Nevertheless, this is an account of pride, stubborness and greed. It is riveting.
Anonymous 5 months ago