It will be necessary, for several reasons, to give this short sketch the form rather of a critical essay than of a biography. The data for a life of Nathaniel Hawthorne are the reverse of copious, and even if they were abundant they would serve but in a limited measure the purpose of the biographer. Hawthorne's career was probably as tranquil and uneventful a one as ever fell to the lot of a man of letters; it was almost strikingly deficient in incident, in what may be called the dramatic quality. Few men of equal genius and of equal eminence can have led on the whole a simpler life. His six volumes of Note-Books illustrate this simplicity; they are a sort of monument to an unagitated fortun...
Originally published in The Cornhill Magazine in 1878 and in book form in 1879, Daisy Miller brought Henry James his first widespread commercial and critical success. The young Daisy Miller, an American on holiday with her mother on the shores of Switzerland’s Lac Leman, is one of James’s most vivid and tragic characters. Daisy’s friendship with an American gentleman, Mr. Winterbourne, and her subsequent infatuation with a passionate but impoverished Italian bring to life the great Jamesian themes of Americans abroad, innocence versus experience, and the grip of fate. As Elizabeth Hardwick writes in her Introduction, Daisy Miller “lives on, a figure out of literature who has entered history as a name, a vision.”
This collection of new essays relates James's work to the political and social issues of his day, making this outstanding literary figure accessible to a broader reading public. Contributors include Richard Godden and Charles Swann, Millicent Bell and Deborah Phillips.
Comprised of more than 250 selections from Henry James's stories about writers, his critical and speculative essays, his Notebooks, Prefaces, and letters, this collection brings together for the first time, in a single, systematic volume, all the important passages in James's work which have implications for or ideas about his theory of fiction. The result is the most comprehensive, exhaustive, and innovative volume of fictional theory ever published; in many ways it is the consummation of James's contribution to letters. In a masterful introductory essay, James E. Miller Jr., presents James's theory of fiction in outline; he also contributes brief introductions to each of the seventeen chapters, summarizing the major points. Abundant guides direct the reader to subjects and sources.
Rowe uses recent work on the oppressive treatment of gays, women and children in his analysis of Henry James, arguing that James mounts a critique of bourgeois values and lack of historical consciousness.