A Passionate Pilgrim is a novella by Henry James, first published in The Atlantic Monthly in 1871. The story was the earliest fiction that James included in the New York Edition (1907-09) of his works. Set in England, the tale shows James' strong interest in the contrast between the Old World and the New. In fact, the difference between America and Europe erupts into open conflict in the story, which leads to an ironic ending.
The narrator meets fellow American Clement Searle at an old-fashioned London inn. Searle has long wanted to settle in England to escape what he considers his arid life in America. But he is physically ailing, and he's also depressed because his lawyer cannot uphold his claim to a share in a country estate currently owned by Richard Searle, a distant relation. Clement and the narrator visit the estate, where they meet the ethereal Miss Searle, who supports Clement's cause.
They also meet Miss Searle's brother Richard, who is at first suspicious and then outright hostile and combative toward Clement. Upset by the conflict Clement and the narrator travel to Oxford, where they help a gentleman, Mr Rawson, down on his luck to travel to America. Clement is now very sick and sends for Miss Searle. She responds to his call and tells him that her brother has been thrown from a horse and killed. Clement might now have a real chance for a share of the estate, but the opportunity comes too late for him. He dies and is buried in the England which proved so inhospitable to him.
About the Author
Date of Birth:April 15, 1843
Date of Death:February 28, 1916
Place of Birth:New York, New York
Place of Death:London, England
Education:Attended school in France and Switzerland; Harvard Law School, 1862-63