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17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A woman's life
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...
Published on 3 Dec 1998

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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Misplaced passions
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...
Published on 27 May 2010 by Keris Nine


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4.0 out of 5 stars A good introduction to Henry James, 21 May 2013
By 
Dr. P. W. Barlow "Peter Barlow" (Bristol, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Washington Square (Wordsworth Classics) (Paperback)
It's not for nothing that Henry James has been called "The Master" - limpid style (at least in his early-middle novels and stories) and always having a particular twist to the plot just before the conclusion. The commissioned Introduction, written by Ian Bell, is a pretty academic piece, as though prepared for an Eng Lit tutorial. But it gives a useful account of the contemporary background to the actual place, Washington Square, New York, as it was in the 1840s, the years in which some of the novel is set, and James's view of it in the 1870s, when the novel was written.
What came to mind when reading this edition from Wordsworth Classics is how sloppy publishing has become if the first three words of Chapter 5 can be omitted without anyone at the Wordsworth noticing. The sentence starts " He learned what ..."
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5.0 out of 5 stars Washington Square, 17 Feb 2013
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This review is from: Washington Square (Kindle Edition)
First taste of Henry James but going to see The Heiress on Broadway and was interested to read the original novella that the play was based on. Not what I imagined; much darker but enjoyable none the less. Glad I read it.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A marvellous short story, 22 Dec 2012
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Donald Hughes (Ruislip) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Washington Square (Wordsworth Classics) (Paperback)
Immediately before reading this book, I tried reading the same author's "The Bostonians", but found it turgid and indigestible, so abandoned it. This book is a fairer reflection of James' considerable talents.
It is a gripping story of a rich but plain girl being torn between a domineering widower father and a gold-digging lover, with her aunt helping and promoting the latter, partly to spite the former. There are many twists and turns, and, throughout, one fears that the villain will succeed.
A marvellous short story (almost on a par with Hemingway's Old Man) and another example to the many windbags who clutter up Anglo-American literature- perhaps Amazon should seek nominations!
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5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Totally Lovely, 14 July 2003
By A Customer
I read this book for my A Level class and to begin with we found it a bit wordy and did not identify with Catherine Sloper in the slightest. I am pleased to say that this is one book that improves with further study. I have now completed University and so haven't had an opportunity to re-read Washington Square as often as I would like. But it is a book that is remarkably easy to read over and over again, each time finding yourself identifying with Cathering more and more. The story itself is tragic. A sweet, shy girl, painfully aware that she is neither clever nor pretty. Desperate to please a father who fails to appreciate the more important qualities she does possess. The one man who pays her any attention is revealed to be a heartless gold digger and her aunt seems more interested in imagining a dramtic romance between the two than whether or not her neice is hurt. The gentleness and subtlety of the story is reflected in Catherine's nature and both benefit from being read carefully and repeatedly in order to derive the full meaning.
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3 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Read, 19 Aug 2001
By A Customer
This was one of James' finest creations. The budding romance stiffled by the protective father, a reoccuring trauma in every day life brought magnificantly to life in this novel
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Washington Square (Wordsworth Classics)
Washington Square (Wordsworth Classics) by Henry James (Paperback - 1 Aug 2001)
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