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The Portrait of a Lady
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'Henry James is as solitary in the history of the novel as Shakespeare is in the history of poetry' Graham Greene

About the Author

Henry James was born on 15th April 1843 in Washington Place, New York to a wealthy and intellectual family and as a youth travelled between Europe and America and studied with tutors in Geneva, London, Paris, Bologna and Bonn. He briefly and unsuccessfully studied law at Harvard but decided he preferred reading and writing fiction to studying law. His first novel, Watch and Ward, was published in 1871 after first appearing serially in Atlantic Monthly. After a brief period in Paris, James moved first to London and then later to Rye in Sussex. He became a British citizen in 1915 to declare his loyalty to his adopted country as well as to protest against America's refusal to enter the war on behalf of Britain. Henry James was a prolific writer and critic and from around 1875 until his death he maintained a strenuous schedule of publications in a variety of genres- novels, short story collections, literary criticism, travel writing, biography and autobiography. He died in 1916.

Reviews

This subtle, beautifully constructed study of an attractive, intelligent, spirited young woman's transition from insouciance to enlightenment is a classic. Passion, intrigue, betrayal - it sounds like a potboiler, but James's observations of Victorian manners, understanding of human nature and exquisite prose elevate it to another league * Guardian *
The Portrait of a Lady is entirely successful in giving one the sense of having met somebody far too radiantly good for this world -- Rebecca West
Subtle and sophisticated and concerned with psychological nuance and social acceptability -- Joanna Trollope
James is the master of making what is not said the most important thing on the page -- Kate Atkinson
I read Portrait of a Lady by Henry James maybe once a year. I just love the story. I love the pace of it -- Colm Toibin

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