The Bostonians

Front Cover
Penguin, Aug 14, 2000 - Fiction - 396 pages
12 Reviews

'There was nothing weak about Miss Olive, she was a fighting woman, and she would fight him to the death'

Basil Ransom, an attractive young Mississippi lawyer, is on a visit to his cousin Olive, a wealthy feminist, in Boston when he accompanies her to a meeting on the subject of women's emancipation. One of the speakers is Verena Tarrant, and although he disapproves of all she claims to stand for, Basil is immediately captivated by her and sets about 'reforming' her with his traditional views. But Olive has already made Verena her protégée, and soon a battle is under way for exclusive possession of her heart and mind. The Bostonians is one of James's most provocative and astute portrayals of a world caught between old values and the lure of progress.

Richard Lansdown's introduction discusses The Bostonians as James's most successful political work and his funniest novel. This edition contains extracts from Tocqueville and from James's 'The American Scene', which illuminate the novel's social context. There are also notes and a bibliography.

 

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User Review  - stillatim - LibraryThing

Not quite sure what to make of this. It has a few Jamesian qualities: the enormous significance of details, general tragic view of life etc... But this is surrounded by mind-numbing detail and a set ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - magicians_nephew - LibraryThing

I must admit I’m not a huge fan of Henry James. I can read his jewel-like short novels like “The Turn of the Screw”, but his longer works just take more patience than I have in me. But my reading ... Read full review

Selected pages

Contents

INTRODUCTION
vii
FURTHER READING
xxxi
A HENRY JAMES CHRONOLOGY
xxxvii
NOTE ON THE TEXT
xli
THE BOSTONIANS
1
INTRODUCTORY NOTE
351
Alexis de Tocqueville What Sort of Despotism Democratic Nations Have to Fear
354
Henry James The American Scene
359
NOTES
379
Copyright

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Page i - being Roderick Hudson (1875). Other titles include The Europeans, Washington Square. The Portrait of a Lady. The Bostonians, The Princess Casamassima. The Tragic Muse. The Spoils ofPoynton. The Awkward Age. The Ambassadors and The Golden Bowl

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About the author (2000)

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.

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