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Daisy Miller and The Turn of the Screw (Penguin English Library) Paperback – 30 Aug 2012


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Product details

  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin Classics (30 Aug. 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 014119975X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0141199757
  • Product Dimensions: 12.9 x 0.9 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 2.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 369,064 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Henry James was born in 1843 in Washington Place, New York, of Scottish and Irish ancestry. His father was a prominent theologian and philosopher and his elder brother, William, is also famous as a philosopher. He attended schools in New York and later in London, Paris and Geneva, entering the Law School at Harvard in 1862. In 1865 he began to contribute reviews and short stories to American journals. In 1875, after two prior visits to Europe, he settled for a year in Paris, where he met Flaubert, Turgenev and other literary figures. However, the next year he moved to London, where he became so popular in society that in the winter of 1878-9 he confessed to accepting 107 invitations. In 1898 he left London and went to live at Lamb House, Rye, Sussex. Henry James became a naturalized citizen in 1915, was awarded the Order of Merit and died in 1916.

In addition to many short stories, plays, books of criticism, autobiography and travel, he wrote some twenty novels, the first published being Roderick Hudson (1875). They include The Europeans, Washington Square, The Portrait of a Lady, The Bostonians, The Princess Casamassima, The Tragic Muse, The Spoils of Poynton, The Awkward Age, The Wings of the Dove, The Ambassadors and The Golden Bowl.


Product Description

About the Author

Henry James was born in 1843 in New York, of Scottish and Irish ancestry. He attended schools in New York, London, Paris and Geneva, entering the Law School at Harvard in 1862. In 1865 he began to contribute reviews and short stories to American journals. In 1875 he settled in Paris, where he met Flaubert, Turgenev and other literary figures. He then moved to London, where he became so popular in society that in the winter of 1878-9 he confessed to accepting 107 invitations. He wrote some twenty highly popular and influential novels, including The Portrait of a Lady and The Bostonians. He became a naturalized citizen in 1915, was awarded the Order of Merit and died in London in 1916.

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0 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Anne Doyle on 21 Nov. 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I'm a fan of Henry James novals', but found these short stories rather boring. Did not create the atmosphere that I need in any book I am reading.
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0 of 3 people found the following review helpful By davzimmer on 14 Oct. 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The book arrived on time and in good condition, so I've no grumbles about that. The stories themselves I found a bit boring.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 2 reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Thumbscrew Is More Like It 27 Mar. 2007
By Slokes - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
This Dell paperback performs a nice bit of service by giving you a pair of Henry James' most significant works: "The Turn Of The Screw," the famous ghost-story novella for which he is best-known today; and "Daisy Miller," another novella that was James' most successful in his lifetime.

I only wish I had enjoyed them. James' style, as I found it, tends to be rather opaque, high-toned, and enervated; smothered in adjectives and lacking in verbs. Fiction-writing from his period can be distant and formal-sounding, but James' feels lost to time in a way others like Conrad and Twain are not.

I probably had the wrong mindset approaching "Turn Of The Screw." This is a famous horror story, read by middle-schoolers. How much of a chore would it be?

Plenty. James frames his story by introducing us to a group of high-toned characters, none of whom we will see again as one of them tells about a story "beyond everything. Nothing I know touches it...for dreadfulness!"

I found this to be true, actually, though not the way James intended. After these few pages of meandering exposition, we meet an unnamed woman hired to be a governess of two cute little kids residing in a pretty English country manor. Various things start to happen to convince the woman that the children are communing with a pair of nasty specters.

Nice idea, but James presents it, intentionally or otherwise, so vaguely that the story loses any real foreboding or suspense. When ghosts appear, they stand on parapets or stare through windows, eyes haunting but the rest of them pretty much inert. Not even the shake of a chain. You never really know anyone in the story; not the kids, cardboard cuties who seem to drift though the narrative chirping noxious Edwardian pleasantries; and not the governess, who sticks by her creepy assignment because she has fallen in love with their uncle, a rich weirdo who requires no matter what happens to the tykes, he never be bothered about them. I guess a good man was hard to find back then.

The end of the book loses a lot of people, but in such a way to make it a favorite of critics. Did the story really happen as presented, or did the governess flip? It's easier to go on about subtext this way when there's so little to the actual text.

"Daisy Miller" is a better tale, crisper and more involving. It's about social mores, and how a young American woman in Europe falls afoul of them. Actually, I thought the story was about a young man who meets an enchanting but impossible flirt, and the way it distends his view of himself and the world around him. But it turns out I was wrong, according to the literary criticism I found online. It's about the girl, and she's not a minx the way I thought, but a truehearted innocent who suffers from the snobby Continentals.

Man, I'm really glad they didn't stick me with this in middle school. "Daisy Miller" left me confused again, and flat, but I did enjoy it until I discovered I was reading a whole different story from what the author wrote. Darn you James, you narrative trickster you!
1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
The turn of the screw and Daisy Miller 15 Feb. 2002
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
Jennifer, period 3

This is a review on The turn of the Screw and Daisy Miller by
Henry James. The turn of the Screw is a haunting ghost story of this woman that is a governess and moves into an old English mansion to care for two children Miles, and Flora. The governess start seeing things and she realizes that these people are not human but ghosts and she thinks that they are going to possess the children. This short novel is a horrifying classic ghost story that was actually not bad. The short novel of Daisy Miller is a tale of a governess on vacation with her family in Italy and she falls in deeply in love with her employer. This is a sad love story that Henry makes you use your imagination on. She is swept off her feet by her employer, Frederick Forsyth. But his suspicions about her friendship with an Italian man lead him, and the rest of society, to abandon her. Only after she is dead that he realizes her actions were spontaneous and out of generosity. That is my review on these short novels by Henry James.
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