Tag Archives: James


The Enmity and the Ecstasy

In early January 1903, The New York Times deemed the serialization of a new James novel so noteworthy as to merit an article (PDF) about another article that itself heralded the debut of that serialization. Both the serialization and the commentary ran in the North American Review. As The Times reported, William Dean Howells, the […]


Friday Fun: The Woollett Question

Shortly after docking in Liverpool, The Ambassadors‘s Lambert Strether meets the cordial American expatriate Maria Gostrey, who, on hearing of his mission, inquires as to the nature of the industry that calls Chad Newsome back to Woollett, Massachusetts; Strether declines to name it. The little manufactured item is at once, he suggests, too “familiar, too […]


Adaptable: Henry James

During his lifetime, Henry James wrote enough novels and short stories to fill a 23-volume “artistic autobiography” with selected work, but in his literary afterlife, he’s embraced another role: fictional character. As of 2010, he’d appeared in novels no fewer than 11 times, according to Reader’s Almanac, the Library of the America’s blog. (Incidentally, the […]


1903: The Ambassadors

As Henry James himself recounts in the preface to his 1903 novel, The Ambassadors, first serialized in twelve installments of the North American Review, “never can a composition of this sort have sprung straighter from a dropped grain of suggestion.” A few years earlier, a young American, Jonathan Sturges had shared an anecdote with James: […]