Pulitzer Prize-winning biography: Henry James (1843-1916) has had many biographers, but Michael Gorra has taken an original approach to this great American progenitor of the modern novel, combining elements of biography, criticism, and travelogue in re-creating the dramatic back story of James's masterpiece, Portrait of a Lady (1881). Gorra, an eminent literary critic, shows how this novel—the scandalous story of the expatriate American heiress Isabel Archer—came to be written in the first place. Traveling to Florence, Rome, Paris, and England, Gorra sheds new light on James's family, the European literary circles-George Eliot, Flaubert,Turgenev-in which James made his name, and the psychological forces that enabled him to create this most memorable of female protagonists.
Henry James defied posterity to disturb his bones: he was adamant that his legacy be based exclusively on his publications and that his private life and writings remain forever private. Despite this, almost immediately after his death in 1916 an intense struggle began among his family and his literary disciples to control his posthumous reputation, a struggle that was continued by later generations of critics and biographers. Monopolizing the Master gives a blow-by-blow account of this conflict, which aroused intense feelings of jealousy, suspicion, and proprietorship among those who claimed to be the just custodians of James's literary legacy. With an unprecedented amount of new evidence now available, Michael Anesko reveals the remarkable social, political, and sexual intrigue that inspired and influenced the deliberate construction of the Legend of the Master.
A new edition of the delightful 1924 memoir by James' longtime secretary, with a biographical essay and excerpts from her diaries. Theodora Bosanquet was Henry James's secretary from 1907 until his death in 1916, one of the most significant periods of his long writing career. Her memoir, originally published by Leonard and Virginia Woolf's Hogarth Press in 1924, recounts Bosanquet's association with James and provides a lively and engaging commentary on James's milieu, preferences, and attitudes, as well as on his process of writing and revision.