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The Bostonians (Vol. 1 & 2)

The Bostonians (Vol. 1 & 2) by Henry James
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This bittersweet tragicomedy centers on an odd triangle of characters: Basil Ransom, a political conservative from Mississippi; Olive Chancellor, Ransom's cousin and a Boston feminist; and Verena Tarrant, a pretty, young protégée of Olive's in the feminist movement. The storyline concerns the struggle between Ransom and Olive for Verena's allegiance and affection, though the novel also includes a wide panorama of political activists, newspaper people, and quirky eccentrics.

First Page:

THE BOSTONIANS

A NOVEL

BY HENRY JAMES

IN TWO VOLUMES

VOL. I

MACMILLAN AND CO., LIMITED ST. MARTIN'S STREET, LONDON 1921

First Published in 1886

BOOK FIRST

I

"Olive will come down in about ten minutes; she told me to tell you that. About ten; that is exactly like Olive. Neither five nor fifteen, and yet not ten exactly, but either nine or eleven. She didn't tell me to say she was glad to see you, because she doesn't know whether she is or not, and she wouldn't for the world expose herself to telling a fib. She is very honest, is Olive Chancellor; she is full of rectitude. Nobody tells fibs in Boston; I don't know what to make of them all. Well, I am very glad to see you, at any rate."

These words were spoken with much volubility by a fair, plump, smiling woman who entered a narrow drawing room in which a visitor, kept waiting for a few moments, was already absorbed in a book... Continue reading book >>


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