A Henry James Encyclopedia

A Henry James Encyclopedia

A Henry James Encyclopedia

A Henry James Encyclopedia

Synopsis

"This brilliant, faultless, impeccably constructed work will maintain its status as an outstanding research tool invaluable both to undergraduate students and to scholars of James. It is unquestionably worthy of The Master, ' its subject." Choice

Excerpt

The present volume, Robert L. Gale Henry James Encyclopedia, is the greatest single compilation of knowledge about Henry James and about James's world since the completion of Leon Edel Life of Henry James nearly twenty years ago. To gauge the magnitude of Professor Gale's undertaking, we have only to consider for a moment the life and contacts of Henry James: the nearly 80 books and 600 periodical contributions he published, the 15,000 odd extant letters, the wide and changing networks of acquaintances, colleagues, and friends in America, England, France, and Italy. Dauntlessly rising to the challenge presented by the myriad data of James's life, the encyclopedist has provided us here with a compendium of information on James's publications (his travel writing and journalism and his literary and art criticism as well as his fiction), his plots and characters, his correspondents, his residences, friendships, professional associations, his judgments of his contemporaries and predecessors in literary art, his publishers, even his domestic servants.

This should have been, one thinks at first, a task for many hands. The sheer vastness of the Jamesian imperium would, one thinks, defeat the encyclopedic labors of any single scholar. But Professor Gale's achievement annihilates such initial misgivings. We ourselves might be defeated by such an undertaking. But he has succeeded magnificently. From A to Z, from Edwin Austin Abbey to Émile Zola, here is everything we have ever wanted to have in the way of a ready-reference volume on Henry James, well over 3,000 entries by my rough count, in one alphabetical, cross-referenced sequence, plus a dozen helpful appendices that group entry terms under convenient headings (for example, "Artists, Sculptors, Architects, and Photographers Mentioned byJames" and "Friends of James").

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