Patriarchy and Incest from Shakespeare to Joyce

By Jane M. Ford | Go to book overview

Everything's terrible, cara— in the heart of man. Henry James, The Golden Bowl


4 The Triangle in Henry James

A preponderant number of Henry James's works deal with fathers and daughters, beginning with his first novel, Watch and Ward ( 1871), through a middle work, The Portrait of a Lady ( 1880), and culminating in the complex The Golden Bowl ( 1904). Henry James ( 1843-1916) differs biographically from the other four artists in that he never married and had no children. However, Leon Edel notes the psychoblographical links in James's life:

But in the close-knit family constellation he created in The Golden Bowl James was dealing with the deepest webs of his own inner world—his father's having had in the house not only his wife Mary Walsh, Henry's mother, but her sister Catherine, the loyal Aunt Kate. There had always been triangles in James's life. 1

In addition, although there is every indication that he never intended to marry, throughout his life Henry James formed close relationships with

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Patriarchy and Incest from Shakespeare to Joyce
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page ii
  • For Barbara, Bill, Brian, and Ann v
  • Contents vii
  • Preface ix
  • Introduction - Fatherl/Daughter Incest 1
  • 1 - Some Literary Variations on the Incest Theme 17
  • 2 - The Triangle in William Shakespeare 36
  • 3 - The Triangle in Charles Dickens 54
  • 4 - The Triangle in Henry James 80
  • 5 - The Triangle in Joseph Conrad 100
  • 6 - The Triangle in James Joyce 120
  • 7 - Incest and Death 146
  • Notes 171
  • Bibliography 184
  • Index 199
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