Henry James: The Imagination of Genius, A Biography

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Taylor & Francis, Oct 7, 1999 - Biography & Autobiography - 620 pages
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One of the most influential novelists, Henry James led a life that was as rich as his writing. Born into an eccentric and difficult family, he left the United States for Europe, where he quickly became a fixture of the expatriate writing community. Fred Kaplan recreates the world of Henry James: his friendships with Edith Wharton and Joseph Conrad, his love of all things exquisite—including exquisite writing—and his quest for understanding human nature. As James himself advocated and would have wanted, this is an artful, dramatic biography, placing the chronological narrative of James's life in the historical context of his times.

"The twenty-one-year-old Henry James, Jr., preferred to be a writer rather than a soldier. His motives for writing were clear to himself, and they were not unusual: he desired fame and fortune. Whatever additional enriching complications that were to make him notorious for the complexity of his style and thought, the initial motivation remained constant. Deeply stubborn and persistently willful, he wanted praise and money, the rewards of recognition of what he believed to be his genius, on terms that he himself wanted to establish. The one battle he thought most worth fighting was that of the imagination for artistic expression. The one empire he most coveted, the land that he wanted for his primary home, was the empire of art."—from Henry James: The Imagination of Genius

 

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HENRY JAMES: The Imagination of Genius

User Review  - Jane Doe - Kirkus

Subtle, complex, elusive Henry James—a writer who saw life as a history of changing perceptions and changing masks—demands all the formidable scholarly skills and narrative art that Kaplan ... Read full review

Henry James: the imagination of genius: a biography

User Review  - Not Available - Book Verdict

Biographer Kaplan ( Dickens: A Biography , LJ 9/1/88; Thomas Carlyle: A Biography , LJ 11/15/83) brings us a lucid and vibrant account of the novelist's creative imagination as well as his renowned ... Read full review

Contents

REMEMBERED SCENES 18431855
10
BELONGING 18551860
27
GARLANDS AND LIGHTS 18601867
46
AN ABSOLUTE REMEDY 18671870
79
CATS AND MONKEYS 18701875
141
PERMANENT HEADQUARTERS 18751878
174
NEVER TO RETURN 18811883
231
THE GREAT MONEYQUESTION 18831888
291
MISS GRIEF 18861891
312
THE DARK ABYSS 18881895
379
PASSIONATE FRIENDSHIPS 18941900
387
CLOSING THE GATES 19041910
478
THE IMPERIAL EAGLE 19101916
542
Notes
567
Acknowledgments
597
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About the author (1999)

Fred Kaplan is the author of Miracles of Rare Devices; Dickens and Mesmerism; Thomas Carlyle, A Biography (nominated for the 1983 National Book Critics Circle Award and a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize); Sacred Tears; Gore Vidal: A Biography; and Dickens: A Biography, the last available in paperback from Johns Hopkins.

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