Henry James: The Conquest of London, 1870-1883 - Vol. 2

By Leon Edel | Go to book overview

A ROMAN WINTER

HE noticed at once signs of marked change since his visit to papal Rome in 1869. The kiosks displayed secular newspapers: in the old sleepy Rome there had been only those of the Vatican. There were also, he remarked, new gas-lamps round the spouting Triton in the Piazza Barberini. He put up at the Hôtel de Rome, in the middle of the Corso, but went out immediately into the narrow, crooked streets that were dark and empty. After the glittering boulevards of Paris, the Eternal City seemed a sleepy ville de province. He paused before the Spanish Steps; they had shrunk since his last visit. He climbed them and turned into the Via Gregoriana. All was silent and deserted. At No. 33 he knocked, and a few minutes later was being greeted affectionately by Mary and Edmund Tweedy in a charming little crimson drawing-room. Edmund had been ill but was mending. They wanted him to stay with them, but Henry declined. To accept their hospitality would have made him feel the world was a small place indeed.

Henry awoke next morning to perfect weather. The air glowed and throbbed under a sky of intense blue. Paris had offered him weeks of monotonous rain-washed asphalt. Rome was golden in the winter sun. He called on Lizzie and Francis Boott, his and Alice's midsummer companions, and stayed with them for dinner on Christmas Eve. They fed him turkey and apple-sauce. On Christmas Day he dined with the Tweedys, and drove with Aunt Mary to St Peter's in her open carriage. Henry took great delight in the open-lipped caressing Roman speech of the coachman, Giuseppe, whom he had no difficulty in understanding. During the succeeding days, while Tweedy was convalescent, Henry became Mary's escort; when she wasn't driving to the butcher's and the baker's, they visited churches or drove out over the old and the new Appian ways. At the end of their

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Henry James: The Conquest of London, 1870-1883 - Vol. 2
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • Illustrations x
  • Introduction xi
  • Book One a Season in Cambridge 1870-1872 xv
  • The Precious Wound 17
  • The Exquisite Provincials 25
  • The Dispossessed 32
  • The Great American Novel 40
  • Alice 44
  • The Art of Seeing 51
  • Escape 57
  • Book Two Transatlantic Sketches 1872 61
  • Brother and Nephew 63
  • The Sentimental Tourist 69
  • A Parisian Autumn 75
  • Book Three Roman Hours 1873 81
  • A Roman Winter 83
  • The Two Palaces 91
  • Roman Rides 99
  • Six Women 108
  • A Study in Mauve 115
  • The Monocle 124
  • A Roman Spring 127
  • Book Four the Choice 1873-1875 135
  • William 137
  • Angel and Brother 146
  • The Fork in the Path 157
  • The Palpable Present 163
  • Roderick Hudson 176
  • A New York Winter 182
  • Benvolio 191
  • Book Five the Siege of Paris 1875-1876 201
  • Ivan Sergeyevich 203
  • The Lesson of the Master 209
  • Councils of the Gods 215
  • Pastel 223
  • Parisian Life 228
  • Silk Purse and Sow's Ear 238
  • The American 246
  • In the Provinces 261
  • A Channel Crossing 268
  • Book Six the Conquest of London 1876-1878 271
  • The Observant Stranger 273
  • London Clubs 284
  • The Bird of Paradox 287
  • A Little Journey 290
  • Daisy 303
  • The Two Secretaries 320
  • A Position in Society 328
  • Book Seven a Reasonable Show of Fame 1878-1879 341
  • The Objective Genius 343
  • The Bachelor of Bolton Street 347
  • Three Old Women 352
  • Visits 361
  • A Dinner at the Reform 367
  • Carthorse and Racer 370
  • The Bard and Mr Browning 374
  • Voltaire in Petticoats 377
  • C' Est Mon Plaisir... 381
  • Book Eight Portrait of a Lady 1879-1881 385
  • Provincial Storm 387
  • The Frail Vessels 395
  • Fathers and Daughters 401
  • A Neapolitan Episode 408
  • Fenimore 411
  • A Band of Egotists 421
  • Venice 437
  • Book Nine Terminations 1881-1883 449
  • Homecoming 451
  • The Dome and the Shaft 458
  • Mary James 465
  • An Exquisite Stillness 467
  • A Little Tour in France 475
  • November Parting 486
  • A Winter Summons 488
  • Son and Brother 494
  • Notes and Acknowledgments 511
  • Index 521
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