henry james (1843 – 1916)


works: daisy millerTHE TURN OF THE SCREW

Henry James was born in New York City in 1843. Together with his brother, William, Henry followed his family to Geneva, Paris, and London, as his father was a remarkable intellectual and social theorist.
In Boston Henry briefly attended Harvard Law School, but soon stopped to concentrate on his writing. He found success very early and often
In novels such as The American, The Europeans, and Daisy Miller, James perfected a sort of psychological realism. His primary subject was the social maneuverings of the upper classes, particularly the situation of Americans living in Europe. For James, America represented optimism and innocence, while Europe represented decadence and social sophistication. James himself moved to Europe early on in his professional career and was naturalized as a British citizen in 1915 to protest America’s failure to enter World War I.
First written in the 1880s and extensively revised in 1908, The Portrait of a Lady is often considered to be James’s greatest achievement.
While he was a dedicated observer of human beings in society, James was a socially distant man with few close friendships. He never married and openly claimed to practice celibacy. He devoted his time to write: he produced nearly 100 books, including The Golden Bowl, The Wings of the Dove, and the ghost story The Turn of the Screw.
He died in 1916, shortly after receiving the English Order of Merit for his dedication to the British cause in World War I.

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