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Henry James

Henry James: Autobiography

Copyright Date: 1956
Pages: 640
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  • Book Info
    Henry James
    Book Description:

    Originally written as three complete books, this one-volume edition includesA Small Boy and Others,Notes of a Son and Brother, andThe Middle Years. Begun when James was sixty-eight years old, it was written at a time when his great critical mind was actively devoted to the understanding of his existence in its complicated wholeness. The reader will come away from the book with a picture of the man within the novelist--the intimate basis of James's themes and methods.

    Taking its place besideThe Education of Henry Adamsand Hawthorne's "The Custom House," the work is an important contribution to America's autobiographic literature. It is a highly personal account of the great novelist's discovery of Europe and of his artistic vocation, as well as a fascinating story of the life of one of the most remarkable families of the nineteenth century, the members of which experienced, in James's own words, "the classic years of the great Americano-European legend."

    Originally published in 1983.

    ThePrinceton Legacy Libraryuses the latest print-on-demand technology to again make available previously out-of-print books from the distinguished backlist of Princeton University Press. These paperback editions preserve the original texts of these important books while presenting them in durable paperback editions. The goal of the Princeton Legacy Library is to vastly increase access to the rich scholarly heritage found in the thousands of books published by Princeton University Press since its founding in 1905.

    eISBN: 978-1-4008-5387-8
    Subjects: History

Table of Contents

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  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-iv)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-vi)
    (pp. vii-xiv)
    F. W. Dupee

    Henry James’s autobiographic writings are here reprinted for the first time since their original publication. Concerned as they are with the recovery of his past and that of his remarkable family, they surely belong among his most vivid and genial performances. They nevertheless had their genesis in an experience of loss and sorrow.

    “I sit heavily stricken and in darkness,” he wrote to a friend in the summer of 1910, when he was sixty-seven. William James was dead; and William James, as he told his correspondent, had been his “ideal Elder Brother.” In the course of a recent visit to...

    (pp. 3-236)

    In the attempt to place together some particulars of the early life of William James and present him in his setting, his immediate native and domestic air, so that any future gathered memorials of him might become the more intelligible and interesting, I found one of the consequences of my interrogation of the past assert itself a good deal at the expense of some of the others. For it was to memory in the first place that my main appeal for particulars had to be made; I had been too near a witness of my brother’s beginnings of life, and...

    (pp. 239-544)

    It may again perhaps betray something of that incorrigible vagueness of current in our educational drift which I have elsewhere¹ so unreservedly suffered to reflect itself that, though we had come abroad in 1855 with an eye to the then supposedly supreme benefits of Swiss schooling, our most resolute attempt to tap that supply, after twenty distractions, waited over to the autumn of the fourth year later on, when we in renewed good faith retraced our steps to Geneva. Our parents began at that season a long sojourn at the old Hôtel de l’Écu, which now erects a somewhat diminished...

    (pp. 547-600)

    If the author of this meandering record has noted elsewhere¹ that an event occurring early in 1870 was to mark the end of his youth, he is moved here at once to qualify in one or two respects that emphasis. Everything depends in such a view on what one means by one’s youth—so shifting a consciousness is this, and so related at the same time to many different matters. We are never old, that is we never cease easily to be young, foralllife at the same time: youth is an army, the whole battalion of our faculties...

  7. NOTES
    (pp. 601-610)
  8. INDEX
    (pp. 611-622)