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A Bundle of Letters   By: (1843-1916)

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A Bundle of Letters by Henry James is a fascinating collection of correspondence that provides an intimate insight into the human condition. The author, known for his masterful depictions of complex characters and intricate plots, once again proves his literary prowess with this exceptional compilation.

The book immerses readers in the art of letter writing, a practice that has become increasingly rare in the age of instant communication. Through these letters, James skillfully constructs a web of interconnected lives, inviting us to witness the various hopes, fears, and desires that drive his characters.

One of the notable strengths of A Bundle of Letters lies in the diverse range of voices that James portrays. Each letter carries a unique tone and perspective, allowing readers to delve into the minds of a multitude of personalities. From the passionate words of a lovestruck individual to the contemplative musings of a solitary philosopher, James captivates us with his ability to capture the myriad facets of the human psyche.

Moreover, James skillfully employs the epistolary form to explore complex themes such as love, betrayal, and the passage of time. The letters serve as a vehicle for intimate confessions, acting as windows into the characters' deepest secrets and fears. As we navigate through the intricacies of their lives, James reveals the profound effects that these revelations can have, both on the characters themselves and on those around them.

The author's prose is nothing short of exceptional, displaying his mastery of language and his keen eye for detail. His sentences are beautifully crafted, evoking vivid imagery and eliciting a range of emotions. This meticulous attention to language ensures that each letter feels authentic, transporting readers back to the time and place in which they were written.

While A Bundle of Letters is undeniably a work of literary merit, some readers may find its fragmented nature challenging. As the narrative unfolds through a series of disjointed letters, it requires a certain level of patience and attentiveness to piece together the overarching story. However, for those willing to invest their time and effort, the reward is a deeply rewarding and immersive reading experience.

In conclusion, A Bundle of Letters is a stunning work that showcases Henry James' exceptional talent for storytelling. Through his poignant exploration of human relationships and emotions, he reminds us of the enduring power of the written word. This collection serves as a testament to the timeless beauty of letter writing, and a reminder of the irreplaceable connection it can foster.

First Page:




September 5th, 1879.

My dear mother I have kept you posted as far as Tuesday week last, and, although my letter will not have reached you yet, I will begin another before my news accumulates too much. I am glad you show my letters round in the family, for I like them all to know what I am doing, and I can't write to every one, though I try to answer all reasonable expectations. But there are a great many unreasonable ones, as I suppose you know not yours, dear mother, for I am bound to say that you never required of me more than was natural. You see you are reaping your reward: I write to you before I write to any one else.

There is one thing, I hope that you don't show any of my letters to William Platt. If he wants to see any of my letters, he knows the right way to go to work. I wouldn't have him see one of these letters, written for circulation in the family, for anything in the world. If he wants one for himself, he has got to write to me first. Let him write to me first, and then I will see about answering him. You can show him this if you like; but if you show him anything more, I will never write to you again.

I told you in my last about my farewell to England, my crossing the Channel, and my first impressions of Paris... Continue reading book >>

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