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Washington Square (Classic Illustrated Edition) [Kindle Edition]

Henry James , A. Willis
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (21 customer reviews)

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Book Description

- One of Henry James' most popular tales, Washington Square is the spellbinding tale of a handsome young man wooing the rather plain daughter of a wealthy doctor. Suspecting that money is driving the young man's keen interest, the doctor forbids their marriage. His meddling sister then tries to intervene on the young man's behalf and the intriguing story becomes yet more twisted and unpredictable.

- Just as accessible and enjoyable for today's modern readers as it would have been when first published over a century ago, the novel is one of the great works of English and American literature and continues to be widely read throughout the world.

- This meticulous digital edition from Heritage Illustrated Publishing is a faithful reproduction of the original text and is beautifully illustrated with a number of atmospheric historical paintings that reflect the mood of the novel.

Product Description


"Perhaps the only novel in which a man has successfully invaded the feminine field and produced a work comparable to Jane Austen's." -Graham Greene

About the Author

Henry James (1843-1916) was a US novelist, who settled in Europe in 1875. Many of his novels explore the contrast between the American and European character.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 1112 KB
  • Print Length: 210 pages
  • Publisher: Heritage Illustrated Publishing (25 Mar. 2014)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00J8YMDD6
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (21 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #468,735 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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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.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
18 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A woman's life 3 Dec. 1998
By A Customer
An excellent, short novel that probes the traditionally most important events of a woman's life -- her marriage opportunities. James portrays a woman who is as much the victim in society of her lack of beauty as she is of the two men in her life: a father who is at best negligent and often overtly cruel and a fortune-hunter who is breathtaking to behold but morally empty. James has the courage to demonstrate through Dr. Sloper's character (the father) the hardness and even abusiveness with which men treated women who lacked beauty or great wit. And he added a swain who pretended to treat the heroine in a finer manner, but who was merely after her money. Catherine Sloper learns her lessons slowly but seemingly well. Written beautifully, James has a small masterpiece of social commentary here, with a fair and objective presentation of one woman's life. Delightful to read, but sad that the heroine must cease to search for happiness merely because men have taught her not to trust their protestations of love.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Favourite 25 Nov. 2009
I must admit that this is one of my all time favourite novels, the first time I ever read it I had to go back and read it all over again. Indeed people who don't normally read James seem to love this little story. This is considered to be the story that ended James' apprenticeship, and even if he had only ever written this he would still be remembered today. James later considered this book with contempt, although no one seems to be sure why. This has always been compared to Jane Austen for its elegance and insight, and when reading it it soon becomes apparent why.

The actual plot is supposedly based on a true story that James was told. Dull Catherine is domineered by her brilliant and astute father, and when she meets a young man she wishes to marry. Catherine's father however denies her her choice and threatens to disinherit her if she marries. Taking her away from her beau they do the 'Grand Tour'. As the years progress we see how her life is lived, and then when her former beau returns on the scene we are held in anticipation of whether they will eventually get married.

James shows here how to spin a story of pure brilliance and elegance, much as he did with 'The Turn of the Screw'. It seems to me absolutely amazing that he didn't like this, but then he was a bit of a snob and perhaps being likened to Austen he felt he was being beliitled, after all he was very derogatory of another brilliant writer, Thomas Hardy. There is only one thing to really say about this book, it is a must read.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Misplaced passions 27 May 2010
By Keris Nine TOP 500 REVIEWER
In contrast to James's earlier novels, where European and American ideals are often embodied in the form of beautiful women of superficiality on one side and less attractive women of substance on the other (with the male figures torn between the respective attractions of each), in Washington Square (1880), James follows his more nuanced and intriguing characterisation of Daisy Miller (1878) with another fascinating female protagonist - a quite plain and ordinary heroine - and finds in her another means to look at social attitudes.

Catherine Sloper is the daughter of an eminent and respected widower doctor who lives at Washington Square in New York. She's not clever, not pretty and a bit of a glutton for cream cakes, but she is clearly good, obedient and docile. These aren't qualities that Dr Sloper believes will result in a distinguished marriage, and he reluctantly accepts the fact, leaving his daughter's upbringing and education in the hands of his sister Mrs Penniman, a widow. At the ripe old age of 22, Catherine, shy, sensitive and of a delicate disposition, remains unmarried and indeed uncourted.

When a young man shows interest in his daughter, Dr. Sloper is initially amused, but suspicious of the fact that Morris Townsend has no money, no position and appears to be living off his married sister, who herself is not at all wealthy, and seeing no attraction in his own daughter other than the dowry and inheritance that she will come into, he takes a great dislike to the young man and opposes any suggestion of a marriage. Mrs Penniman however has romantic ideas about a secret union and tries to encourage both parties to go against her brother's wishes. Poor Catherine seems to be caught in the middle with no will or volition of her own.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Where To Start Reading Henry. 22 Feb. 2004
Forget the old Warner Brothers movie THE HEIRESS. The screenwriters ultimately didn't understand Catherine Sloper, the heroine of WASHINGTON SQUARE, the Henry James novel they adapted.
Henry James himself excluded this early work from the so-called NEW YORK EDITION of his works. I suspect Catherine was so much like himself he felt embarrassed for having created her.
Nevertheless, this is a straightforward novel. The experimentation of James's later work certainly is not here, but there is an astonishing determination. It was only his second or third novel.
It's about Catherine and her father. Too much has been made of the fact that Catherine's in a world which strives to crush her. James wishes to show us how one person can menace another; even his own daughter. This is what THE HEIRESS misses. It tries to make Catherine's suitor and her aunt villainous. They're fools, not villains.
What drives the plot is the question of whether or not Catherine will survive her father's bloodless cruelty.
Readers interested in the history of New York City will be intrigued by the description of Catherine's meddling aunt walking past construction sites where now-famous buildings stand. Henry James grew up on Washington Square. He's looking back at his own foundations, as it were.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars but I enjoyed it more as I got into it
I wasn't sure about this book to start with (the phraseology and style reflect the period in which it was written) , but I enjoyed it more as I got into it. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Jenny Roberts
3.0 out of 5 stars Three Stars
Quite enjoyed as account of early New York society.
Published 2 months ago by Keith
5.0 out of 5 stars The book was in very good condition on arrival
The book was in very good condition on arrival. The book was enjoyed by my book reading circle. Henry James is a great writer in the Jane Austin style.
Published 2 months ago by maureen bryant
5.0 out of 5 stars You can see why he has his reputation
This book I would put in my top league. It got you really involved emotionally although intelligently written & it made me cry! Also read The Portrait of a Lady.
Published 3 months ago by Lindsey Clare Gee-Turner
5.0 out of 5 stars Not every ugly duckling is a swan.
Even readers who are not great fans of Henry James will love Washington Square. It strongly resembles the fairy tale of The Ugly Duckling and we immediately side with Catherine,... Read more
Published 4 months ago by Ingrid Lang
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
My daughter got this book and she's very happy with it no problems
Published 8 months ago by E. M. Robinson
5.0 out of 5 stars Wordsworth's always do a classic
Love the price, the print is well done. The cover is in tact after 1 year. So happy with it.
Published 12 months ago by Himynameis
5.0 out of 5 stars Completely pre-freudian...
This was my first real encounter with
Henry James and I really liked this short
novel, first published in 1880. Read more
Published 22 months ago by elisheva guggenheim
4.0 out of 5 stars the novel was fantastic
the novel itself was fantastic, i love henry james style and british inspiration for an american based novel however the whole book did not look like that in the picture. Read more
Published 22 months ago by S. Rooke
5.0 out of 5 stars Book from my book list
The book arrived very quickly and is brand new. I am more than pleased with the cost and will get round to reading it soon. I can recommend the seller
Published 23 months ago by D. M. Brennan
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