The Aspern Papers

Front Cover
Courier Corporation, 2001 - Fiction - 80 pages
98 Reviews
In this classic 1888 novella, an anonymous narrator relates his obsessive quest to acquire some letters and other private documents that once belonged to the deceased Romantic poet Jeffrey Aspern. Attempting to gain access to the papers, the property of Aspern's former mistress, he rents a room in a decaying Venetian villa where the woman lives with her aging niece. Led by his zeal into increasingly unscrupulous behavior, the narrator is faced in the end with relinquishing his heart's desire or attaining it an an overwhelming price.
Inspired by an actual incident involving Claire Clairmont, once the mistress of Lord Byron, this masterfully written tale incorporates all those elements expected from James: psychological subtlety, deft plotting, the clash of cultures, and profoundly nuanced representation of scene, mood, and character. This volume also contains James's celebrated Preface from the New York edition of his collected works.
Unabridged Dover (2001) republication of the revised version of the work from the New York edition published by Scribners, 1908.
 

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TERRIFIC. Ironic ending. - Goodreads
Not Henry James's finest writing hour. - Goodreads
A lovely twist of an ending. - Goodreads
I found it difficult to care much about the plot. - Goodreads
It was thought-provoking in plot, theme, and language. - Goodreads
I wasn't thrilled with the ending, though. - Goodreads

Review: The Aspern Papers

User Review  - Eileen - Goodreads

Hmm, what to say. I guess I enjoyed the book, although for such a singular, focused plot, it could have been even shorter than it was. The narrator reminded me of fandom, of hard-core fans who are so ... Read full review

Review: The Aspern Papers

User Review  - Z Coonen - Goodreads

A tale of the narrator yearning to obtain elusive papers owned by a deceased author, now suspected to be in the possession of his elderly lover. Based in Venice, the novella twists and turns like the ... Read full review

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Contents

I
1
II
8
III
14
IV
22
V
29
VI
38
VII
49
VIII
57
IX
67
Copyright

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About the author (2001)

American author Henry James (1843–1916) spent most of his career in Europe and ultimately adopted British citizenship. A prolific writer of criticism, biography, and travel-related books and articles, James is known above all for his highly influential novels, which frequently explore the clash of Old and New World cultures.

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