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  • Published: 15 April 2006
  • ISBN: 9781590170786
  • Imprint: NY Review Books
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 296
  • RRP: $32.99

The Ivory Tower



In 1914, Henry James began work on a major novel about the immense new fortunes of America’s Gilded Age. After an absence of more than twenty years, James had returned for a visit to his native country; what he found there filled him with profound dismay. In The Ivory Tower, his last book, the characteristic pattern underlying so much of his fiction—in which American “innocence” is transformed by its encounter with European “experience”—receives a new twist: raised abroad, the hero comes home to America to confront, as James puts it, “the black and merciless things that are behind the great possessions.”

James died in 1916 with the first three books of The Ivory Tower completed. He also left behind a “treatment,” in which he charted the further progress of his story. This fascinating scenario, one of only two to survive among James’s papers, is also published here together with a striking critical essay by Ezra Pound.

  • Published: 15 April 2006
  • ISBN: 9781590170786
  • Imprint: NY Review Books
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 296
  • RRP: $32.99

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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