The Wings of the Dove (Hardcover)

Author: James, Henry

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Product Overview

Two poor adventurers have designs upon a dying young woman.


Publisher Random House Inc
Mfg Part# 9780679455127
SKU 30117457
Format Hardcover
ISBN10 0679455124
Release Date 11/1/1997
Dimensions (in Inches) 8.5H x 5.5L x 1.25T
Author Info
Henry James
Henry James was born into a wealthy Irish-American family who settled mainly in New York City's Greenwich Village and in Albany, New York, but lived and traveled extensively in Europe while Henry was growing up. Educated at a variety of schools in the U.S. and abroad, Henry spent a year at Harvard Law School, which he loathed, and used his time haunting the library and attending James Russell Lowell's lectures at Harvard College. Soon after, he began publishing short stories and reviews. When he was in his late teens, he spent much of his time on his own in Europe--chiefly England, France, and (his favorite) Italy--and, as he approached his 30s he became a virtual resident of Europe, returning to the U.S. only for brief periods. James became increasingly successful, wealthy, and respected as a writer of fiction and as a critic; his brilliantly insightful prefaces to his novels have influenced many writers. His attempts to write plays were all sad failures: To be a successful dramatist was a lifelong dream for James, but he seemed to lack the ability to dramatize action anywhere but on the printed page. In 1896 he settled at Lamb House, in Sussex, where he lived until his death in 1916. Reactions to James's work range from scorn and impatience (H. G. Wells called him "a hippopotamus resolved at any cost...upon picking up a pea") to reverence. Despite his increasing mannered and challenging style, James's work endures as great literature because of his humane sensibility, his insight into American and European culture, his moral clarity, his delicate wit, and the lucid subtlety of his language.
"[W]hat must surely be the most exhaustive attempt ever made of rendering the sensitivity or reflection of a tragic experience. It is the experience that matters; the aesthetic achievement is secondary....It is Milly's consciousness of her experience, and the consciousness of sin on the part of Kate and Densher, that make the novel great. It is an education, a growth of the moral sense in all involved, that is the 'reality' of the novel."
"The ideal American rich girl has never really been done before, and it is safe to say that she will never again be done with such exquisite appreciation....Never...have I had a vivider sense of London..., a stronger sense of Venice, than in 'Wings of the Dove'."
From the Publisher
Annotation In THE WINGS OF THE DOVE, Kate Croy, a penniless young Englishwoman, tries to arrange a marriage between her fianc? Merton Densher and the American heiress she has befriended, knowing that Millie, the heiress, has a fatal illness and not long to live. Informed about the situation, Millie generously leaves her money to Densher anyway, as proof of her love for him. But Densher, conscience-stricken and devastated by this proof of purity and virtue, is unable to accept the money or to marry Kate, whom he now sees for the scheming opportunist she is.
Editors Note Of the three late masterpieces that crown the extraordinary literary achievement of Henry James, THE WINGS OF THE DOVE (1902) is at once the most personal and the most elemental. James drew on the memory of a beloved cousin who died young to create one of the three central characters, Milly Theale, the "dove" of the title, an heiress with a short time to live and a passion for experiencing life to its fullest. To the creation of the other two, Merton Densher and the magnificent, predatory Kate Croy, who conspire in an act of deceit and betrayal Kate Croy, who conspire in an act of deceit and betrayal, he brought a lifetime's distilled wisdom about the frailty of the human soul when it is trapped in the depths of need and desire. And he brought to the drama that unites these three characters, in the drawing rooms of London and on the storm lit piazzas of Venice, a starkness and classical purity almost unprecedented in his work. Under its brilliant, coruscating surfaces, beyond the scrim of its marvelous rhetorical and psychological devices, THE WINGS OF THE DOVE offers an unfettered vision of our civilization and its discontents. It represents a culmination of James's art and, as such, of the art of the novel itself.
Editors Note 2 In 'The Wings of the Dove, ' the yearning for life and love is again contrasted with the lust for money and power, this time dramatized in terms of the eternal triangle.
First Line She waited, Kate Croy, for her father to come in, but he kept her unconsciously, and there were moments at which she showed herself, in the glass over the mantel, a face positively pale with the irritation that had brought her to the -point of going away without sight of him.
Product Attributes
eBooks Kobo
Book Format Hardcover
Number of Pages 0544
Publisher Everyman's Library

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