The thirty-one stories presented here are the culmination of James’s glorious final period. Among them are the extraordinary fantasies “The Great Good Place” and “The Jolly Corner,” in which supernatural motifs are used hauntingly to express undercurrents of yearning and dislocation; “Julia Bride,” a character portrait akin to “Daisy Miller,” in which a young American woman experiences the social pleasures and vicissitudes of the marriage market; “Crapy Cornelia,” a story whose sense of the compelling power of nostalgic memory owes much to James’s 1904 return visit to New York City; “The Birthplace,” a comic tale about the commercialization of genius that has lost none of its satiric edge; “The Tree of Knowledge,” a sly dissection of the family life of a pampered sculptor; “The Beast in the Jungle,” one of James’s masterpieces, the harrowing account of a man’s confrontation with his own lost opportunities that has been seen as foreshadowing many of the dominant themes of twentieth-century literature; and “A Round of Visits,” James’s last story, about the need to confide and the limits of sympathy.
About the Author
In 1869, and then in 1872-74, he paid visits to Europe and began his first novel, Roderick Hudson. Late in 1875 he settled in Paris, where he met Turgenev, Flaubert, and Zola, and wrote The American (1877). In December 1876 he moved to London, where two years later he achieved international fame with Daisy Miller. Other famous works include Washington Square (1880), The Portrait of a Lady (1881), The Princess Casamassima (1886), The Aspern Papers (1888), The Turn of the Screw (1898), and three large novels of the new century, The Wings of the Dove (1902), The Ambassadors (1903) and The Golden Bowl (1904). In 1905 he revisited the United States and wrote The American Scene (1907).
During his career he also wrote many works of criticism and travel. Although old and ailing, he threw himself into war work in 1914, and in 1915, a few months before his death, he became a British subject. In 1916 King George V conferred the Order of Merit on him. He died in London in February 1916.
Date of Birth:April 15, 1843
Date of Death:February 28, 1916
Place of Birth:New York, New York
Place of Death:London, England
Education:Attended school in France and Switzerland; Harvard Law School, 1862-63