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

By Leon Edel | Go to book overview

CARTHORSE AND RACER

FOR Henry, Turgenev was a touchstone with which to measure the English novelists. Thus, writing some months earlier to W. E. Henley, he pointed out that the Russian was the exact opposite of Meredith. Turgenev didn't care a straw for an epigram or a phrase; Meredith cared enormously for them. Turgenev wasn't a whit literary, but simply human and moral. Meredith was a mannerist, a coquette--like "that pitiful prostitute Cherbuliez." (In the fullness of time Henry was thus sharing the cénacle's contempt for Cherbuliez, and in language almost as harsh as Zola's.) So too, in thinking of George Eliot, he observed that she was a philosopher, while Turgenev was a poet. One could call Turgenev a "magician"--a word he would never apply to George Eliot. The Russian cared for the aspect of things; she for the reason of things.

Henry nevertheless looked with high regard and affection upon George Eliot and what she had accomplished for the craft of the novel. He hoped that he would meet her again: there had been one brief occasion, in 1869, during his grand tour, when Grace Norton had taken him into the presence of the rather overpowering lady--brief because a son of G. H. Lewes was writhing on the floor in the next room in a fit of pain and Lewes himself had gone to the apothecary for morphine. Now a Londoner, no longer a tourist, Henry embraced the first occasion to pay his respects to her. Early in April 1878 John Cross had invited him to a dinner at the Devonshire Club at which Lewes was present. "Capital talk and stories," Lewes wrote in his diary at the evening's end. Henry's version to Quincy Street was slightly different: "I sat next to Lewes, who is personally repulsive, but most clever and entertaining. He is rather too much of a professional raconteur--he told lots of stories; but he recounts very well-- chiefly in French. He remembered, as soon as I was introduced to

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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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