- Format: Kindle Edition
- File Size: 1339 KB
- Print Length: 316 pages
- Publisher: Digireads.com (19 Oct. 2011)
- Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
- Language: English
- ASIN: B005X8V4MC
- Text-to-Speech: Enabled
- Word Wise: Enabled
- Average Customer Review: 3 customer reviews
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #866,286 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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The Princess Casamassima [with Biographical Introduction] Kindle Edition
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I was interested in this book because I believe it was not tampered with or 'improved' by the author, belonging to the same period as The Bostonians, and it is, for this reason, a rewarding read, free of HJ's later contorted prose. I agree with another critic that the name 'Hyacinth' for the hero is extremely off-putting, and I found many of the characters implausible, not least the Princess herself. One does not feel that HJ has met these kind of people, as one does when reading The Bostonians. But the book still requires some guidance. It is rarely mentioned by James's critics, so that the absence of an introduction to this text is a serious lack. However, long, dense and self-contained, it is still a fiction which demands the reader's full and questioning attention.
Most helpful customer reviews on Amazon.com
Our young male protagonist is a bookbinder by trade, and finds himself involved with a close circle of social revolutionists reacting to the sullen plight of London's underclasses. The plot focuses on his unusual and scandalous origins, friendships, including the novel's title character, an aristocratic social revolutionist, a paradox both literally and figuratively; also his experiences and decisions, and the strange web they all weave for him. If you have read James before you are aware of his ability to breath incredible life into his characters which makes for such a pleasurable read. James is making a statement about the London of the late 1800s and its idle class, and the question of just how much blood may or may not be on their hands. Is the exploitation of the working class a natural human phenomenon or a product of our social system? Is change possible or even relevant? These are some of the themes James explores with this work and he blends them seemlessly into the plot. At first glance these themes may seem time/place specific and perhaps irrelevant to modern living, but rings true for humanity and its economic plights at any time. The great social question of the haves and have nots can still be felt today.