An Unusual Rivalry

During their lifetimes, Henry James and his older brother William enjoyed great affection for one another, fame in their own realms and a healthy rivalry – one that appears to have followed them into the cultural afterlife.

In Author, Author, David Lodge muses that, if he the opportunity to speak with James now, he would tell him:

You only contributed one word to the English language, but it’s one to be proud of: “Jamesian.”

Except that he’s not quite right, for the same term is also attributed to the writings and philosophy of William. Perhaps we should consider it tantamount to a truce?

Image: Henry and William, England, 1901


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