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Collected travel writings : Great Britain and America

Library of America ; ; 64

by James Henry


"This volume brings together James's writings on Great Britain and America. The essays of English Hours convey the freshness of James's "wonderments and judgments and emotions" on first encountering the country that became his adopted home for half a century. He captures the immensely varied life of London in a series of walks through that "murky, modern Babylon," which contains "the most romantic town-vistas in the world." Lively vignettes of a winter visit to an unfashionable watering place and excursions to the cathedral towns of Wells and Salisbury are followed by a haunting evocation of the desolate Suffolk coast at Dunwich. James includes vivid accounts of a New Year's weekend at a perfectly appointed country house, midsummer dog days in London, and the spectacle of the Derby at Epsom. In every essay he enriches his portrait of the English character, governed by social conventions and yet prone to startling eccentricities. Joseph Pennell's delightful illustrations, which appeared in the original 1905 edition, are reprinted with James's text." "In The American Scene (1907) James revisits his native country after a twenty-year absence, traveling throughout the eastern United States from Boston to Florida. Views of the Hudson River arouse memories of his own past - the river "seemed to stretch the earliest outlook of my consciousness," he writes. James's poignant rediscovery of what remained of the New York of his childhood ("the precious stretch of space between Washington Square and Fourteenth Street") contrasts with his impression of the modern, commercial New York, a new city representing "a particular type of dauntless power,..crowned not only with no history, but with no credible possibility of time for history?" Edmund Wilson, who praised The American Scene's "magnificent solidity and brilliance," remarked that "it was as if...his emotions had suddenly been given scope, his genius for expression liberated."" "Sixteen essays on traveling in England, Scotland, and America conclude this volume. The essays, most of which have never before been collected, range from early pieces on London, Saratoga, and Newport, to articles on World War I that are among James's final writings."--BOOK JACKET.Title Summary field provided by Blackwell North America, Inc. All Rights Reserved

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Book Information

Copyright year 1993
ISBN-13 9780940450769
ISBN-10 0940450763
Class Copyright
Publisher Library of America
Subject TRAVEL
File Size 0 MB
Number of Pages 846
Shelf No. FC720
Grade Range 12
Ages 18