- Audio Download
- Listening Length: 20 hours and 40 minutes
- Program Type: Audiobook
- Version: Unabridged
- Publisher: RNIB
- Audible.co.uk Release Date: 26 Mar. 2009
- Language: English
- ASIN: B002SPZLNQ
The Wings of the Dove Audio Download – Unabridged
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Top Customer Reviews
In short it is a story about love, friendship and how make a good marriage (that is Victorian upper class marry to money and status). The centrepiece is a spontaneous and deep friendship between Kate and Densher, and a troublingly complex and mind-made scheme that prevents the two of them marrying but involve a rich young woman who is dying, b ut is so very 'magnificent'. This young rich woman and her inherent qualities are being elevated by the author to the status of, almost, etheric, angelic, but without much to show for it. We do not hear much about what exactly it is the makes her so admirable. Is he being sarcastic? I think not, unfortunately.
The style of Henry James is rarely seen among modern writes. He can write long and profoundly on what happens in the moment, without involving the past. His is a description of consciousness more than life trajectory.
His writing is always good and as such it is worthwhile (this novel figures on various lists of the best 100 novels in English), but the thread is too loose. In my copy, Wordsworth Classics, there are two lengthy introductions: One from a scholar who apparently felt the need to help the reader figure out on what it is all about, and the other by the author who also helps us out and explains that he feels he somehow failed in achieving what he set out to show. Telling, perhaps, most reader will probably feel lost at times.
This is one of his slowest and I feel that the ratio of events to thinking is dipping towards speculation, making it, basically, boring.
This was the first published novel of James' latter stage, all three of which are rightly considered masterpieces (he did start other novels, but alas they were incomplete at his death). The actual bones of the plot are simplicity itself, which is often the case with James. The novel itself ultimately revolves around three people, Kate Croy, who wants money, her betrothed, Merton Densher, who has to work for a living, and the rich American, Milly Theale, who is dying of consumption (TB in today's world). Will Kate be able to get an inheritance out of Milly to see her set up in the world? And if she does, will it ultimately bring happiness?
Of course as with most of James' works there is a lot more to the tale, what with other characters, and their ideas and machinations. This novel itself probably has the most ambiguous ending of all James' works, and is something that you are bound to come back to to re-read many times.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Some of the toughest Henry James prose I've come across, but I finally got into it - about three quarters of the way through. Read morePublished on 25 Jun. 2014 by DB
One of Henry James' late novels, this is also one of his finest, along with The Ambassadors and The portrait of a lady. Read morePublished on 13 Dec. 2012 by William Podmore