Henry James

(redirected from James, Henry)
Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Medical, Wikipedia.

James, Henry, American student of religion and social problems

James, Henry,

1811–82, American student of religion and social problems, b. Albany, N.Y.; father of the philosopher William JamesJames, William,
1842–1910, American philosopher, b. New York City, M.D. Harvard, 1869; son of the Swedenborgian theologian Henry James and brother of the novelist Henry James.
..... Click the link for more information.
 and of the novelist Henry JamesJames, Henry,
1843–1916, American novelist and critic, b. New York City. A master of the psychological novel, James was an innovator in technique and one of the most distinctive prose stylists in English.

He was the son of Henry James, Sr.
..... Click the link for more information.
. He rebelled against the strict Calvinist theology of his family and of Princeton Theological Seminary, to which he was sent, and sought a personal solution. SwedenborgSwedenborg, Emanuel
, 1688–1772, Swedish scientist, religious teacher, and mystic. His religious system, sometimes called Swedenborgianism, is largely incorporated in the Church of the New Jerusalem, founded some years after his death.
..... Click the link for more information.
's teachings opened for him a way and provided the framework for his own thought as expressed in Substance and Shadow; or, Morality and Religion in Their Relation to Life (1863), Society the Redeemed Form of Man, and the Earnest of God's Omnipotence in Human Nature (1879), and other books. He later developed a social philosophy based upon the principles of Charles FourierFourier, Charles
, 1772–1837, French social philosopher. From a bourgeois family, he condemned existing institutions and evolved a kind of utopian socialism. In Théorie des quatre mouvements
..... Click the link for more information.
. He was a close friend of many literary figures, including Ralph Waldo EmersonEmerson, Ralph Waldo
, 1803–82, American poet and essayist, b. Boston. Through his essays, poems, and lectures, the "Sage of Concord" established himself as a leading spokesman of transcendentalism and as a major figure in American literature.
..... Click the link for more information.
 and Thomas CarlyleCarlyle, Thomas,
1795–1881, English author, b. Scotland. Early Life and Works

Carlyle studied (1809–14) at the Univ. of Edinburgh, intending to enter the ministry, but left when his doubts became too strong.
..... Click the link for more information.
.

Bibliography

See F. H. Young, The Philosophy of Henry James (1950); biographies by A. Warren (1934) and A. Habegger (1994). See also studies of the James family by F. O. Matthiessen (1947), R. W. B. Lewis (1991), and P. Fisher (2008).


James, Henry, American novelist and critic

James, Henry,

1843–1916, American novelist and critic, b. New York City. A master of the psychological novel, James was an innovator in technique and one of the most distinctive prose stylists in English.

He was the son of Henry JamesJames, Henry,
1843–1916, American novelist and critic, b. New York City. A master of the psychological novel, James was an innovator in technique and one of the most distinctive prose stylists in English.

He was the son of Henry James, Sr.
..... Click the link for more information.
, Sr., a Swedenborgian theologian, and the brother of William JamesJames, William,
1842–1910, American philosopher, b. New York City, M.D. Harvard, 1869; son of the Swedenborgian theologian Henry James and brother of the novelist Henry James.
..... Click the link for more information.
, the philosopher. Educated privately by tutors in Europe and the United States, he entered Harvard law school in 1862. Encouraged by William Dean HowellsHowells, William Dean,
1837–1920, American novelist, critic, and editor, b. Martins Ferry, Ohio. Both in his own novels and in his critical writing, Howells was a champion of realism in American literature.
..... Click the link for more information.
 and other members of the Cambridge literary circle in the 1860s, James wrote critical articles and reviews for the Atlantic Monthly, a periodical in which several of his novels later appeared in serial form. He made several trips to Europe, and while there he became associated with such notable literary figures as TurgenevTurgenev, Ivan Sergeyevich
, 1818–83, Russian novelist, dramatist, and short-story writer, considered one of the foremost Russian writers. He came from a landowning family in Orel province, and his cruel, domineering mother was a great influence on his life.
..... Click the link for more information.
 and FlaubertFlaubert, Gustave
, 1821–80, French novelist, regarded as one of the supreme masters of the realistic novel. He was a scrupulous, slow writer, intent on the exact word (le mot juste) and complete objectivity.
..... Click the link for more information.
. In 1876 he settled permanently in London and became a British subject in 1915.

James devoted himself to literature and travel, gradually assuming the role of detached spectator and analyst of life. In his early novels, including Roderick Hudson (1876), The American (1877), Daisy Miller (1879), and The Portrait of a Lady (1881), as well as some of his later work, James contrasts the sophisticated, though somewhat staid, Europeans with the innocent, eager, though often brash, Americans. In the novels of his middle period, The Bostonians (1886), The Princess Casamassima (1886), and The Tragic Muse (1890), he turned his attention from the international theme to reformers, revolutionaries, and political aspirants.

During and after an unsuccessful six-year attempt (1889–95) to win recognition as a playwright, James wrote a series of short, powerful novels, including The Aspern Papers (1888), What Maisie Knew (1897), The Spoils of Poynton (1897), The Turn of the Screw (1898), and The Sacred Fount (1901). In his last and perhaps his greatest novels, The Wings of the Dove (1902), The Ambassadors (1903), and The Golden Bowl (1904), all marked by a return to the international theme, James reached his highest development in the portrayal of the intricate subtleties of character and in the use of a complex, convoluted style to express delicate nuances of thought.

Perhaps more than any previous writer, James refined the technique of narrating a novel from the point of view of a character, thereby laying the foundations of modern stream of consciousnessstream of consciousness,
in literature, technique that records the multifarious thoughts and feelings of a character without regard to logical argument or narrative sequence.
..... Click the link for more information.
 fiction. The series of critical prefaces he wrote for the reissue of his novels (beginning in 1907) won him a reputation as a superb technician. He is also famous for his finely wrought short stories, including "The Beast in the Jungle" and "The Real Thing," which are masterpieces of the genre. In addition to fiction and literary criticism, James wrote several books on travel and three autobiographical works. He never married.

Bibliography

See his notebooks, ed. by F. O. Matthiessen and K. B. Murdock (1947); his plays, ed. by L. Edel (1949); his travel writings, ed. by R. Howard (2 vol., 1993); his complete letters, ed. by P. A. Walker and G. W. Zacharias (3 vol., 2009–11) and selected letters, ed. by P. Horne (1999); biographies by L. Edel (5 vol., 1953–71, rev. ed. 1985), R. Gard (1987), F. Kaplan (1992), L. Gordon (1999), and S. M. Novick (2 vol., 1996–2007); studies by F. O. Matthiessen (1944), J. W. Beach (rev. ed. 1954), Q. Anderson (1957), S. Sears (1968), P. Buitenhuis (1970), O. Cargill (1961, repr. 1971), P. Brooks (2007), and M. Gorra (2012). See also studies of the James family by F. O. Matthiessen (1947), R. W. B. Lewis (1991), and P. Fisher (2008).

James, Henry

 

Born Apr. 15, 1843, in New York; died Feb. 28, 1916, in London. American writer.

In the novel Roderick Hudson (1876) James described how the talent of a sculptor, misunderstood by bourgeois society, was destroyed. The blasted hopes of women in love who are deceived by predatory scoundrels are dealt with in the novels Washington Square (1881; Russian translation, 1881) and The Portrait of a Lady (1881). The novel The American (1877; Russian translation, 1880) departs from realism. Its hero, the millionaire Newman, is portrayed as the embodiment of selflessness. The novel The Bostonians (1886) ridicules the democratic traditions of American reformers and Utopians, and Princess Casamassima (1886) caricatures the revolutionary movement in Europe.

In the novel The Tragic Muse (1890), James juxtaposed art and public life. He cultivated a refined psychologism in the novels The Sacred Fount (1901), The Ambassadors (1903), and The Golden Bowl (1904). Of his later works, the short stories and novellas about the tragic fate of the artist in the world of property owners are the best (“The Aspern Papers,” “The Beast in the Jungle,” and “The Figure in the Carpet”).

WORKS

The Complete Tales, vols. 1-12. London, 1962-64.
In Russian translation:
“Dezi Miller.” In the collection Amerikanskaia novella, vol. 1. Moscow, 1958.

REFERENCES

Edgar, P. Henry James, Man and Author. New York, 1964.
Henry James. Edited by T. Tanner. [London, 1968.] (Bibliography, pp. 341-43).
Powers, L. H. H. James. New York, 1970.

A. A. ELISTRATOVA

James, Henry

(1843–1916) writer, critic; born in New York City (brother of Alice and William James). Son of the wealthy amateur philosopher, Henry James Sr., he was educated by private tutors until 1855; the family spent most of the years 1855–60 traveling in Europe, where Henry continued his education, then settled in Newport, R.I. (1860–62) where he apparently suffered an unspecified injury in a stable fire. He attended Harvard Law School (1862–63), then withdrew to devote himself to writing. Starting in the mid-1860s his essays and critical reviews began appearing in The North American Review, while his first novel, Watch and Ward, was published in Atlantic Monthly (1871). He divided his time between Cambridge, Mass., and Europe (1869; 1872–74; 1875); in Paris in 1875 he came to know Turgenev and Flaubert among other European writers. In 1876 he settled in England, where he would spend most of the rest of his life, chiefly in London and in Rye, Sussex; he never married but he was a sociable man, often in the company of other writers such as Edith Wharton. He traveled frequently on the Continent, and published several notable travel books between 1875 and 1909. His first novels—of the so-called international period, dealing as they do with interactions between Americans and Europeans—include The American (1877), The Europeans (1878), Daisy Miller (1879), and The Portrait of a Lady (1881). The works of his second period stressed psychological and social relationships and include Washington Square (1881), The Bostonians (1886), What Maisie Knew (1897), and The Sacred Fount (1901). During the 1890s he also wrote plays but he never found much success in the theater. He continued his examination of intricate psychological realities in works of his final period that include his three masterworks, The Wings of the Dove (1902), The Ambassadors (1903), and The Golden Bowl (1904). In 1904–05 he visited the U.S.A. where he traveled, lectured, and arranged for the New York Edition of his works (1907–09), for which he made numerous revisions. His account of his visit, The American Scene (1907), was not always appreciative of his homeland; he returned to the U.S.A. in 1910–11. In 1915 he became an English citizen to show his solidarity with Britain during World War I and he became involved in war relief and the American volunteer ambulance corps. Soon thereafter he suffered several strokes, and he died shortly after receiving Britain's Order of Merit. He had been writing almost to the end, and in his long career, in addition to his many novels and travel books, he had written many classic short novels ("The Turn of the Screw," 1898), short stories ("The Beast in the Jungle," 1903) and critical essays ("The Art of Fiction," 1885) as well as two memoirs. His intricate and complex sentence structure and delicately nuanced perceptions have never appealed to all readers but ultimately they became the models for one "school" of modern fiction and James has become recognized as one of the supreme writers of all time.