In the nineteenth century, Henry James was one of the biggest proponents of literary realism. To James, nothing was more captivating than an authentic character. As a literary critic, James believed the weight of writing a good or a bad novel hinged solely on the author’s ability to write. As an author, James utilized a masterful understanding of point of view, interior monologue, and realistic dialogue to create stunningly real characters and representations of life.
The Select Works of Henry James contains six of James’ best-known novels, including The Portrait of a Lady, The American, The Europeans, What Maisie Knew, Roderick Hudson, and The Golden Bowl. Each of these works immerses the reader in a world crafted from the reality of nineteenth-century life. Lovers of literature will appreciate these classic works.
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Did you ever read Henry James? He was a great writer who came to Venice and looked out the window and smoked his cigar and thought.
—Ernest Hemmingway, recipient, 1954 Nobel Prize in Literature
. . . Mr. James shows remarkable insight into character and the obscure workings of human motives, singular power of analysis combined with a strikingly picturesque imagination, that ‘sweetness and light’ which belong to true culture, and wonderful mastery of style.
—The Eclectic Magazine: Foreign Literature
Mr. James’ talent as a novelist lies in a broad, rich style, in brilliant colloquy, and in a rare faculty for making impossibly sumptuous characters, electric in their intense vitality.
Mr. Henry James, Jr., inherits from his father a diction so rich and pure, so fluent and copious, so finely shaded yet capable of such varied service, that it is, in itself, a form of genious. Few men have ever been so brilliantly equipped for literary performance.
—New York Tribune
Henry James (1843–1916) was a British writer born in America, and one of the major proponents of nineteenth-century literary realism. James made significant contributions to literary criticism, advocating for the removal of restrictive parameters on writers, while placing the burden of producing good literature solely on a writer’s ability. James wrote over 20 novels, dozens of short stories and novellas, and numerous works of nonfiction. Towards the end of his life, James revised many of his novels and republished them in what he called New York Edition. His other works include The Art of the Novel, “A Passionate Pilgrim,” Confidence, and The Outcry.