Paperback / softback
October 7, 1999
9780801862717
English
672
76
9.25 Inches (US)
6.25 Inches (US)
2.1 Pounds (US)
$32.00 USD, £23.50 GBP
v2.1 Reference

Henry James

The Imagination of Genius, A Biography

One of the most influential novelists, Henry James led a life that was as rich as his writing. Born into an eccentric and difficult family, he left the United States for Europe, where he quickly became a fixture of the expatriate writing community. Fred Kaplan recreates the world of Henry James: his friendships with Edith Wharton and Joseph Conrad, his love of all things exquisite—including exquisite writing—and his quest for understanding human nature. As James himself advocated and would have wanted, this is an artful, dramatic biography, placing the chronological narrative of James's life in the historical context of his times.

"The twenty-one-year-old Henry James, Jr., preferred to be a writer rather than a soldier. His motives for writing were clear to himself, and they were not unusual: he desired fame and fortune. Whatever additional enriching complications that were to make him notorious for the complexity of his style and thought, the initial motivation remained constant. Deeply stubborn and persistently willful, he wanted praise and money, the rewards of recognition of what he believed to be his genius, on terms that he himself wanted to establish. The one battle he thought most worth fighting was that of the imagination for artistic expression. The one empire he most coveted, the land that he wanted for his primary home, was the empire of art."—from Henry James: The Imagination of Genius

About the Author

Fred Kaplan is the author of Miracles of Rare Devices; Dickens and Mesmerism; Thomas Carlyle, A Biography (nominated for the 1983 National Book Critics Circle Award and a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize); Sacred Tears; Gore Vidal: A Biography; and Dickens: A Biography, the last available in paperback from Johns Hopkins.

Reviews

A good up-to-date one-volume life of Henry James was long overdue; Fred Kaplan... has done the job splendidly with Henry James: The Imagination of Genius... Here, at last, is a thoughtful, balanced book to give us a consistent and persuasive account of the writer's life and his development as an author.

- Miranda Seymour - New York Times Book Review
Johns Hopkins University Press
From 18

9780801862717 : henry-james-kaplan
Paperback / softback
672 Pages
$32.00 USD

Other Titles by Fred Kaplan

Lincoln and Liberty

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Nov 2014 - University Press of Kentucky
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Dickens

Fred Kaplan - with a new preface by the author
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