The American Scene

The American Scene

by Henry James


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Henry James left America in 1876 for the sake of his art and for the rich cultural heritage of Europe. His return in the late summer of 1904, based on both romantic and practical motives, allowed him to revisit the now-transformed cities of his youth as well as to experience for the first time the country's southern states. The American Scene is a major work from James' final, most adventurous creative phase and offers a cultural and social critique of contemporary American society as well as a personal series of 'gathered impressions', a form of indirect yet sometimes intimate autobiography. This new edition includes detailed explanatory notes, a general introduction, a chronology, an itinerary of James' journey, a record of textual variants and rare manuscript material, appendices which include the journal James kept, texts for the two lectures he gave, and two additional essays written on his return to England.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781985245983
Publisher: CreateSpace Publishing
Publication date: 02/09/2018
Pages: 422
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.86(d)

About the Author

Henry James (1843-1916), born in New York City, was the son of noted religious philosopher Henry James, Sr., and brother of eminent psychologist and philosopher William James. He spent his early life in America and studied in Geneva, London and Paris during his adolescence to gain the worldly experience so prized by his father. He lived in Newport, went briefly to Harvard Law School, and in 1864 began to contribute both criticism and tales to magazines.

In 1869, and then in 1872-74, he paid visits to Europe and began his first novel, Roderick Hudson. Late in 1875 he settled in Paris, where he met Turgenev, Flaubert, and Zola, and wrote The American (1877). In December 1876 he moved to London, where two years later he achieved international fame with Daisy Miller. Other famous works include Washington Square (1880), The Portrait of a Lady (1881), The Princess Casamassima (1886), The Aspern Papers (1888), The Turn of the Screw (1898), and three large novels of the new century, The Wings of the Dove (1902), The Ambassadors (1903) and The Golden Bowl (1904). In 1905 he revisited the United States and wrote The American Scene (1907).

During his career he also wrote many works of criticism and travel. Although old and ailing, he threw himself into war work in 1914, and in 1915, a few months before his death, he became a British subject. In 1916 King George V conferred the Order of Merit on him. He died in London in February 1916.

Date of Birth:

April 15, 1843

Date of Death:

February 28, 1916

Place of Birth:

New York, New York

Place of Death:

London, England


Attended school in France and Switzerland; Harvard Law School, 1862-63

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments; A note on this edition; Chronology: Henry James' life and writings; James' American itinerary; List of abbreviations; Editor's introduction; The American Scene; Glossary of foreign words and phrases; Notes on textual variants; Appendices; Select bibliography; Index.

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