I wonder how many of those who may read my blog will be familiar with, much less a reader of, Henry James, a writer who is perhaps the most opposite to Ernest Hemingway, in his style of writing, that is, if not just his time and nature. In short, I have a lovely Modern Library edition of The Ambassadors that I’ve never been able to complete reading because I start dozing after only a couple of pages, and I wonder if any of this blog’s followers have had that experience with James or not, but if you are interested at all in Henry James then you must, indeed, click through and read these fascinating facts about him.
By Viola van de Sandt
1. He had no regrets. In a letter to fellow novelist Hugh Walpole, James wrote in 1913: ‘We must know, as much as possible, in our beautiful art . . . what we are talking about – & the only way to know it is to have lived & loved & cursed & floundered & enjoyed & suffered – I don’t think I regret a single “excess” of my responsive youth – I only regret, in my chilled age, certain occasions & possibilities I didn’t embrace.’
2. James’s close and long-standing friendship with Constance Fenimore Woolson, a widely-read writer who like James had also settled in Europe, ended abruptly when Woolson jumped from her bedroom window in Venice in 1894. It fell to James to sort through her belongings and finally dispose of her clothing. Unable to sell or burn her dresses, he eventually…
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