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The Aspern Papers And Other Tales
About the book
  • Published: 27 August 2014
  • ISBN: 9780141389790
  • Imprint: Penguin Classics
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 384
  • RRP: $19.99

The Aspern Papers And Other Tales


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In these unsettling stories Henry James explores writers, artists and the creation of art. In 'The Aspern Papers', a tenacious critic attempts to get his hands on a trove of memorabilia from his idol, a long-dead poet, but finds that the cost may be too great.

A wonderful new selection of Henry James's short stories exploring the relationship between art and life, edited by Michael Gorra.
This volume gathers seven of the very best of Henry James's short stories, all focussing the relationship between art and life. In 'The Aspern Papers', a critic is determined to get his hands on a great poet's papers hidden in a faded Venetian house - not matter what the human cost. 'The Author of Beltraffio', 'The Lesson of the Master' and 'The Figure in the Carpet' all focus on naive young men's unsettling encounters with their literary heroes. In 'The Middle Years', a dying novelist begins to glimpse his own potential, while 'The Real Thing' and 'Greville Fane' both explore the tension between artistic and commercial success. These fables of the creative life reveal James at his ironic, provocative best.
Henry James was born in 1843 in New York and died in London 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.
Michael Gorra is Professor of English at Smith College and the author of Portrait of a Novel: Henry James and the Making of an American Masterpiece (2012), a finalist for both the Pulitzer Prize and the James Tait Black Memorial Prize in biography.

  • Pub date: 27 August 2014
  • ISBN: 9780141389790
  • Imprint: Penguin Classics
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 384
  • RRP: $19.99

About the Author

Henry James

Henry James was born on 15th April 1843 in Washington Place, New York to a wealthy and intellectual family and as a youth travelled between Europe and America and studied with tutors in Geneva, London, Paris, Bologna and Bonn. He briefly and unsuccessfully studied law at Harvard but decided he preferred reading and writing fiction to studying law. His first novel, Watch and Ward, was published in 1871 after first appearing serially in Atlantic Monthly. After a brief period in Paris, James moved first to London and then later to Rye in Sussex. He became a British citizen in 1915 to declare his loyalty to his adopted country as well as to protest against America's refusal to enter the war on behalf of Britain. Henry James was a prolific writer and critic and from around 1875 until his death he maintained a strenuous schedule of publications in a variety of genres: novels, short story collections, literary criticism, travel writing, biography and autobiography. He died in 1916.

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