Daisy Miller

Front Cover
Penguin Books, 1986 - Fiction - 126 pages
4 Reviews
"Daisy Miller" is a fascinating portrait of a young woman from Schenectady, New York, who, traveling in Europe, runs afoul of the socially pretentious American expatriate community in Rome. First published in 1878, the novella brought American novelist Henry James(1843-1916), then living in London, his first international success. Like many of James's early works, it portrays a venturesome American girl in the treacherous waters of European society - a theme that would culminate in his 1881 masterpiece, "The Portrait of a Lady."

On the surface, "Daisy Miller" unfolds a simple story of a young American girl's willful yet innocent flirtation with a young Italian, and its unfortunate consequences. But throughout the narrative, James contrasts American customs and values with European manners and morals in a tale rich in psychological and social insight. A vivid portrayal of Americans abroad and a telling encounter between the values of the Old and New Worlds, "Daisy Miller" is an ideal introduction to the work of one of America's greatest writers of fiction.

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User Review  - PiyushC - LibraryThing

This was my first dalliance with Henry James; a short story collection, in my experience not the best way to sample an author, I have been known to not be blown away by short stories written even by ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - stillatim - LibraryThing

Four stories about young women who are somehow on the make. Daisy Miller is brilliant, The Patagonia is later James, which in my book generally, and indeed in this case also, means better. The other ... Read full review

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About the author (1986)

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. He spent his early life in America and studied in Geneva, London and Paris during his adolescence to gain the worldly experience so prized by his father. He lived in Newport, went briefly to Harvard Law School, and in 1864 began to contribute both criticism and tales to magazines.

In 1869, and then in 1872-74, he paid visits to Europe and began his first novel, Roderick Hudson. Late in 1875 he settled in Paris, where he met Turgenev, Flaubert, and Zola, and wrote The American (1877). In December 1876 he moved to London, where two years later he achieved international fame with Daisy Miller. Other famous 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). In 1905 he revisited the United States and wrote The American Scene (1907).

During his career he also wrote many works of criticism and travel. Although old and ailing, he threw himself into war work in 1914, and in 1915, a few months before his death, he became a British subject. In 1916 King George V conferred the Order of Merit on him. He died in London in February 1916.


Geoffrey Moore was general editor for the works of Henry James in Penguin Classics. He died in 1999.

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