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Views and Reviews   By: (1843-1916)

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VIEWS AND REVIEWS

VIEWS AND REVIEWS

BY HENRY JAMES

NOW FIRST COLLECTED

INTRODUCTION BY LE ROY PHILLIPS

COMPILER OF "A BIBLIOGRAPHY OF THE WRITINGS OF HENRY JAMES"

BOSTON THE BALL PUBLISHING COMPANY 1908

Copyright, 1908 BY THE BALL PUBLISHING CO.

INTRODUCTION

Those whose palates are accustomed to the subtle flavours of the wines of the Rhine and Moselle can smack their lips and name the vintage at the first taste. Likewise any one fairly familiar with the work of Mr. James during his forty years of literary activity can, after the reading of a single page taken at random, judge with a remarkable accuracy the date of its composition. Yet the transition has not been abrupt and the styles of writing which the author has adopted, early, middle and late, have blended in such a way that he has been bringing many of his earlier readers, though some have fallen by the wayside, along with him to a genuine appreciation of his present work.

It is not unnatural but disappointing that those of the present generation who chance to meet Mr. James in one of the later novels are not as likely to seek a second volume as those who read Daisy Miller some thirty years ago when that study first appeared, so fresh in its note of charm and pathos, in the now almost unfindable brown wrappers of Harper's Half Hour Series, for they may forever miss a rare enjoyment.

In the critical papers which make up the contents of this book, the characteristics of the author's later style are wholly absent. Without the date of the original appearance of these essays in periodical form being indicated, the chronological setting of this work is apparent. No sentences with marvelously intricate complications of construction and with expressions involved are in the author's method at this time, while for clearness and charm these views and reviews are admirable specimens, showing qualities which brought Mr. James his early readers and first made his name an essential feature of the announcements of publishers of the more discriminating periodicals forty years ago.

The earliest authenticated magazine article by Mr. James printed when he was twenty one is a critical notice of Nassau W. Senior's Essays on Fiction in The North American Review for October, 1864. From this time until the appearance of his first volume A Passionate Pilgrim and Other Tales, Boston: 1875 as many as one hundred and twenty five serious literary notices contributed to periodicals can be traced to him .

During this period it must also be remembered that Mr. James was equally employed in writing short stories, art criticism and notes of travel, both at home and abroad, and that these were also distinctive features of the widely scattered journals in which they appeared.

In The North American Review, The Atlantic Monthly, The Galaxy, Lippincott's Magazine, The New York Tribune, The Independent and some other periodicals, the authorship of such work was attributed to Mr. James on the publication of the articles or in regularly issued indexes.

The articles in The Nation are seldom signed, and there is no published index showing the contributors to its files. In preparing a recent[] Bibliography of the writings of Henry James I had access to a record which the late Wendell Phillips Garrison, who was Mr. Godkin's associate from the founding of the paper and after 1881 editor in charge until June 28, 1906, had carefully kept of every author's work which his paper had published since its first issue. The amount of matter which Mr. James had provided, and the variety of interests concerning which he wrote, made an amazing array of notes. It is from the early issues of The Nation that much of the contents of this volume is reprinted. Of Mr. James's contributions to periodicals those to this paper were perhaps the most notable as well as the most frequent. He was represented in its first number July 6, 1865 by some critical notes on Henry W... Continue reading book >>




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