Books

Daisy Miller and Other Tales

Henry James (and others)

A wonderful new collection of tales exploring Henry James's favourite 'international theme': the experiences of Americans in Europe, and the meeting of the old world and new.

Daisy Miller is one of Henry James's great heroines - a young, independent American travelling in Europe, whose flouting of social conventions has the potential to lead to disaster. Her story is here accompanied by six more set among English castles, Swiss hotels and French ports, and all riffing on a classic Jamesian theme: the clash between the old world and new, Europe and America.

The tales included in this volume are 'Travelling Companions', 'Madame de Mauves', 'Four Meetings', 'Daisy Miller', 'An International Episode', 'Europe' and 'Fordham Castle', and the collection has been edited by renowned scholar of Anglo-American literature, Stephen Fender, under the general editorship of Philip Horne. This is one of three new volumes of James's greatest tales in Penguin Classics, and is accompanied by The Aspern Papers and Other Tales and The Turn of the Screw and Other Tales (forthcoming).

The Ambassadors

Henry James

This complex tale of self-discovery -- considered by the author to be his best work -- traces the path of an aging idealist, Lambert Strether. Arriving in Paris with the intention of persuading his young charge to abandon an obsession with a French woman and return home, Strether reaches unexpected conclusions.

The Figure in the Carpet

Henry James

'Did she know and if she knew would she speak?'

The story of an unsolved literary mystery that explores what James referred to as "troubled artistic consciousness"

Introducing Little Black Classics: 80 books for Penguin's 80th birthday. Little Black Classics celebrate the huge range and diversity of Penguin Classics, with books from around the world and across many centuries. They take us from a balloon ride over Victorian London to a garden of blossom in Japan, from Tierra del Fuego to 16th-century California and the Russian steppe. Here are stories lyrical and savage; poems epic and intimate; essays satirical and inspirational; and ideas that have shaped the lives of millions.

Henry James (1843-1916). James's works available in Penguin Classics are The Portrait of a Lady,
The Europeans, What Maisie Knew, The Awkward Age, The Figure in the Carpet and Other Stories, The Turn of The Screw, The Aspern Papers and Other Tales, The Wings of The Dove, Washington Square, The Tragic Muse, Daisy Miller, The Ambassadors, The Golden Bowl, Selected Tales, Roderick Hudson, The Princess Casamassima and The American.

The Portrait of a Lady

Henry James

Henry James's great masterpiece, now in a stunning Penguin clothbound edition designed by the acclaimed Coralie Bickford-Smith.

When Isabel Archer, a beautiful, spirited American, is brought to Europe by her wealthy aunt Touchett, it is expected that she will soon marry. But Isabel, resolved to enjoy her freedom, does not hesitate to turn down two eligible suitors. Then she finds herself irresistibly drawn to Gilbert Osmond. Charming and cultivated, Osmond sees Isabel as a rich prize waiting to be taken. In this portrait of a 'young woman affronting her destiny', Henry James created one of his most magnificent heroines, and a story of intense poignancy.

This edition is based on the earliest published copy of the novel: this is the version that was read first and loved by most readers in James's lifetime. It also includes an introduction, notes and other editorial materials by leading James scholar Philip Horne.

Henry James was born in 1843 in Washington Place, New York, of Scottish and Irish ancestry. In addition to many short stories, plays, books of criticism, autobiography and travel, he wrote some twenty novels, the first published being Roderick Hudson (1875). They include The Europeans, Washington Square, The Portrait of a Lady, The Bostonians, The Princess Casamassima, The Tragic Muse, The Spoils of Poynton, The Awkward Age, The Wings of the Dove, The Ambassadors and The Golden Bowl.

Philip Horne is Professor of English at University College London.

The Aspern Papers and Other Tales

Henry James (and others)

A wonderful new selection of Henry James's short stories exploring the relationship between art and life, edited by Michael Gorra.

This volume gathers seven of the very best of Henry James's short stories, all focussing the relationship between art and life. In 'The Aspern Papers', a critic is determined to get his hands on a great poet's papers hidden in a faded Venetian house - not matter what the human cost. 'The Author of Beltraffio', 'The Lesson of the Master' and 'The Figure in the Carpet' all focus on naive young men's unsettling encounters with their literary heroes. In 'The Middle Years', a dying novelist begins to glimpse his own potential, while 'The Real Thing' and 'Greville Fane' both explore the tension between artistic and commercial success. These fables of the creative life reveal James at his ironic, provocative best.

Henry James was born in 1843 in New York and died in London in 1916. In addition to many short stories, plays, books of criticism, autobiography and travel, he wrote some twenty novels, the first published being Roderick Hudson (1875). They include The Europeans, Washington Square, The Portrait of a Lady, The Bostonians, The Princess Casamassima, The Tragic Muse, The Spoils of Poynton, The Awkward Age, The Wings of the Dove, The Ambassadors and The Golden Bowl.

Michael Gorra is Professor of English at Smith College and the author of Portrait of a Novel: Henry James and the Making of an American Masterpiece (2012), a finalist for both the Pulitzer Prize and the James Tait Black Memorial Prize in biography.

Washington Square

Henry James

When Catherine Sloper falls for Maurice Townsend, her father, a wealthy New York doctor, believes that Townsend is a fortune hunter after his daughter’s inheritance. He forbids the marriage but Catherine persists in her affection, encouraged by her foolish aunt Lavinia who has a weakness for Maurice herself. Dr Sloper takes Catherine abroad to distract her from the infatuation, but she proves to be as stubborn as her father. The book is a vivid study of the four central characters drawn in what are, for this author, unusually strong primary colours.
Six novels by Henry James and two volumes of his shorter fiction are already published in Everyman’s Library.

The Portrait of a Lady

Henry James

The Penguin English Library edition of The Portrait of a Lady by Henry James

'She knew of no wrong that he had done; he was not violent, he was not cruel; she simply believed that he hated her'

When Isabel Archer, a beautiful, spirited American, is brought to Europe by her wealthy aunt Touchett, it is expected that she will soon marry. But Isabel, resolved to enjoy her freedom, does not hesitate to turn down two eligible suitors. Then she finds herself irresistibly drawn to Gilbert Osmond. Charming and cultivated, Osmond sees Isabel as a rich prize waiting to be taken. In this portrait of a 'young woman affronting her destiny', Henry James created one of his most magnificent heroines, and a story of intense poignancy.

The Penguin English Library - 100 editions of the best fiction in English, from the eighteenth century and the very first novels to the beginning of the First World War.

Washington Square

Henry James

The Penguin English Library Edition of Washington Square by James Hardy

"Why, you must take me or leave me ... You can't please your father and me both; you must choose between us"

When timid and plain Catherine Sloper acquires a dashing and determined suitor, her father, convinced that the young man is nothing more than a fortune-hunter, decides to put a stop to their romance. Torn between her desire to win her father's love and approval and her passion for the first man who has ever declared his love for her, Catherine faces an agonising dilemma, and becomes all too aware of the restrictions that others seek to place on her freedom. James's masterly novel deftly interweaves the public and private faces of nineteenth-century New York society; it is also a deeply moving study of innocence destroyed.

The Penguin English Library - 100 editions of the best fiction in English, from the eighteenth century and the very first novels to the beginning of the First World War.

The Wings of the Dove

Henry James

'She found herself, for the first moment, looking at the mysterious portrait through tears. Perhaps it was her tears that made it just then so strange and fair ... the face of a young woman, all splendidly drawn, down to the hands, and splendidly dressed ... And she was dead, dead, dead'

Emerging from the grit and stigma of poverty to a life of fairytale privilege under the wing of her aunt, the beautiful and financially ambitious Kate Croy is already romantically involved with promising journalist Merton Densher when they become acquainted with Milly Theale, a New York socialite of immense wealth. Learning of Milly's mortal illness and passionate attraction to Densher, Kate sets the scene for a romantic betrayal intended to secure her lasting financial security. As the dying Milly retreats within the carnival splendour of a Venetian palazzo, becoming the frail hub of a predatory circle of fortune-seekers, James unfolds a resonant, brooding tale of doomed passion, betrayal, human resilience and remorse.

The Penguin English Library - 100 editions of the best fiction in English, from the eighteenth century and the very first novels to the beginning of the First World War.

Daisy Miller and The Turn of the Screw

Henry James

The Penguin English Library Edition of Daisy Miller and The Turn of the Screw by Henry James

"I'm a fearful, frightful flirt! Did you ever hear of a nice girl that was not?"

This edition contains two of Henry James's most popular short works.

Travelling in Europe with her family, Daisy Miller, an exquisitely beautiful young American woman, presents her fellow-countryman Winterbourne with a dilemma he cannot resolve. Is she deliberately flouting social convention in the outspoken way she talks and acts, or is she simply ignorant of those conventions? In Daisy Miller Henry James created his first great portrait of the enigmatic and dangerously independent American woman, a figure who would come to dominate his later masterpieces.

Oscar Wilde called James's chilling The Turn of the Screw 'a most wonderful, lurid poisonous little tale'. It tells of a young governess sent to a country house to take charge of two orphans, Miles and Flora. Unsettled by a sense of intense evil within the houses, she soon becomes obsessed with the belief that malevolent forces are stalking the children in her care.

The Penguin English Library - 100 editions of the best fiction in English, from the eighteenth century and the very first novels to the beginning of the First World War.

The Portrait of a Lady

Henry James (and others)

Regarded by many as Henry James's finest work, and a lucid tragedy exploring the distance between money and happiness, The Portrait of a Lady contains an introduction by Philip Horne in Penguin Classics.

When Isabel Archer, a beautiful, spirited American, is brought to Europe by her wealthy aunt Touchett, it is expected that she will soon marry. But Isabel, resolved to enjoy the freedom that her fortune has opened up and to determine her own fate, does not hesitate to turn down two eligible suitors. Then she finds herself irresistibly drawn to Gilbert Osmond. Charming and cultivated, Osmond sees Isabel as a rich prize waiting to be taken. Beneath his veneer of civilized behaviour, Isabel discovers cruelty and a stifling darkness. In this portrait of a 'young woman affronting her destiny', Henry James created one of his most magnificent heroines, and a story of intense poignancy.

This edition of The Portrait of a Lady, based on the earliest published copy of the novel, is the version read first and loved by most readers in James's lifetime. It also contains a chronology, further reading, notes and an introduction by Philip Horne.

Henry James (1843-1916) son of a prominent theologian, and brother to the philosopher William James, was one of the most celebrated novelists of the fin-de-siècle. In addition to many short stories, plays, books of criticism, biography and autobiography, and much travel writing, he wrote some twenty novels. His novella Daisy Miller (1878) established him as a literary figure on both sides of the Atlantic, and his other novels in Penguin Classics include Washington Square (1880), The Portrait of a Lady (1881), The Awkward Age (1899), The Wings of the Dove (1902), The Ambassadors (1903) and The Golden Bowl (1904).

If you enjoyed The Portrait of a Lady, you might like Edith Wharton's The Age of Innocence, also available in Penguin Classics.

'Matchless, a grave description of one of life's great traumas, the passage from innocence to experience'
Anita Brookner

The Turn of the Screw

Henry James (and others)

A chilling ghost story, wrought with tantalising ambiguity, Henry James's The Turn of the Screw is edited with an introduction and notes by David Bromwich in Penguin Classics.

In what Henry James called a 'trap for the unwary', The Turn of the Screw tells of a nameless young governess sent to a country house to take charge of two orphans, Miles and Flora. Unsettled by a dark foreboding of menace within the house, she soon comes to believe that something malevolent is stalking the children in her care. But is the threat to her young charges really a malign and ghostly presence or something else entirely? The Turn of the Screw is James's great masterpiece of haunting atmosphere and unbearable tension and has influenced subsequent ghost stories and films such as The Innocents, starring Deborah Kerr, and The Others, starring Nicole Kidman.

This Penguin Classics edition contains a chronology, further reading, notes and an introduction by David Bromwich examining the dark ambiguity of James's work and the inseparability of narrative from point-of-view.

Henry James (1843-1916) son of a prominent theologian, and brother to the philosopher William James, was one of the most celebrated novelists of the fin-de-siècle. In addition to many short stories, plays, books of criticism, biography and autobiography, and much travel writing, he wrote some twenty novels. His novella Daisy Miller (1878) established him as a literary figure on both sides of the Atlantic, and his other novels in Penguin Classics include Washington Square (1880), The Portrait of a Lady (1881), The Awkward Age (1899), The Wings of the Dove (1902), The Ambassadors (1903) and The Golden Bowl (1904).

If you enjoyed The Turn of the Screw, you might like Edgar Allen Poe's The Fall of the House of Usher, also available in Penguin Classics.

'A most wonderful, lurid, poisonous little tale'
Oscar Wilde

The Beast in the Jungle

Henry James

'Something or other lay in wait for him, amid the twists and turns of the months and the years, like a crouching beast in the jungle.'

Henry James's devastating and profoundly moving novella is the story of John Marcher, a man who, for as long as he can remember, has been obsessed by the feeling that some life-changing - even catastrophic - event lies in wait for him like a jungle animal. Then the tragic day arrives on which the terrible true nature of the beast is revealed.

What Maisie Knew

Henry James (and others)

What Maisie Knew is Henry James's damning portrait of adultery, jealousy and possession on the decadent fringe of English upper-class society. This Penguin Classics edition is edited with an introduction and notes by Christopher Ricks.

After her parents' bitter divorce, young Maisie Farange finds herself turned into a 'little feathered shuttlecock' to be swatted back and forth by her selfish mother, Ida, and her vain father, Beale, who value her only as a means of provoking one another. When both take lovers and remarry, Maisie - solitary, observant and wise beyond her years - is drawn into an entangled adult world of intrigue and sexual betrayal, until she is at last able to cooperate in choosing her own future. As time conquers innocence, Henry James masterfully portrays Maisie's consciousness developing from simple childlike 'wonder' to a rich, morally-scrupulous adult mind.

This edition of What Maisie Knew includes a chronology, suggested further reading, three contemporary reviews, Henry James's own commentaries on the work, and an introduction that examines how children figured in his predecessors' novels, and how war is waged between the sexes in What Maisie Knew.

Henry James (1843-1916) son of a prominent theologian, and brother to the philosopher William James, was one of the most celebrated novelists of the fin-de-siècle. In addition to many short stories, plays, books of criticism, biography and autobiography, and much travel writing, he wrote some twenty novels.
His novella 'Daisy Miller' (1878) established him as a literary figure on both sides of the Atlantic, and his other novels in Penguin Classics include Washington Square (1880), The Portrait of a Lady (1881), The Awkward Age (1899), The Wings of the Dove (1902), The Ambassadors (1903) and The Golden Bowl (1904)

If you enjoyed What Maisie Knew, you might like Virginia Woolf's Mrs Dalloway, also available in Penguin Classics.

'Embodies everything that James excelled at in fiction'
Paul Theroux

The Golden Bowl

Henry James (and others)

Henry James's highly charged study of adultery, jealousy and possession, The Golden Bowl is edited with an introduction and notes by Ruth Bernard Yeazell in Penguin Classics.

Maggie Verver, a young American heiress, and her widowed father Adam, a billionaire collector of objets d'art, lead a life of wealth and refinement in London. They are both getting married: Maggie to Prince Amerigo, an impoverished Italian aristocrat, and Adam to the beautiful but penniless Charlotte Stant, a friend of his daughter. But both father and daughter are unaware that their new conquests share a secret - one for which all concerned must pay the price. Henry James's late, great work both continues and challenges his theme of confrontation between American innocence and European experience.

This edition of The Golden Bowl contains a chronology, suggested further reading, a glossary, notes and an introduction by Ruth Bernard Yeazall discussing James's original conception of the novel and later changes made to its structure and characters.

Henry James (1843-1916) son of a prominent theologian, and brother to the philosopher William James, was one of the most celebrated novelists of the fin-de-siècle. In addition to many short stories, plays, books of criticism, biography and autobiography, and much travel writing, he wrote some twenty novels.
His novella 'Daisy Miller' (1878) established him as a literary figure on both sides of the Atlantic, and his other novels in Penguin Classics include Washington Square (1880), The Portrait of a Lady (1881), What Maisie Knew (1897), The Awkward Age (1899), The Wings of the Dove (1902) and The Ambassadors (1903).

If you enjoyed The Golden Bowl, you might like Theodor Fontaine's Effi Briest, also available in Penguin Classics.

'A wonderfully luminous drama'
Gore Vidal

'One of the greatest pieces of fiction ever written'
A.N. Wilson

Cathedrals and Castles

Henry James

The American Henry James's descriptions of the countryside, monuments, universities, cathedrals, castles, customs and manners of the English are filled with elegant charm and good humour. Here he delights in the hidden corners of ancient Chester streets, marvels at the drunken jollity of Epsom Derby day and savours the calm shadows of Glastonbury abbey, in a hymn to stained-glass windows, crumbling cottages, Norman towers, weather-beaten gables and the English genius.

Generations of inhabitants have helped shape the English countryside - but it has profoundly shaped us too.It has provoked a huge variety of responses from artists, writers, musicians and people who live and work on the land - as well as those who are travelling through it.English Journeys celebrates this long tradition with a series of twenty books on all aspects of the countryside, from stargazey pie and country churches, to man's relationship with nature and songs celebrating the patterns of the countryside (as well as ghosts and love-struck soldiers).

The Wings of the Dove

Henry James (and others)

Emerging from the grit and stigma of poverty to a life of fairytale privilege under the wing of her aunt, the beautiful and financially ambitious Kate Croy is already romantically involved with promising journalist Merton Densher when they become acquainted with Milly Theale, a New York socialite of immense wealth. Learning of Milly's mortal illness and passionate attraction to Densher, Kate sets the scene for a romantic betrayal intended to secure her lasting financial security. As the dying Milly retreats within the carnival splendour of a Venetian palazzo, becoming the frail hub of a predatory circle of fortune-seekers, James unfolds a resonant, brooding tale of doomed passion, betrayal, human resilience and remorse.

The Europeans

Henry James (and others)

one of a series of new editions of Henry James's most famous short stories and novels.

The Ambassadors

Henry James (and others)

The greatest expression of his talent for witty, observant explorations of what it means to 'live well', Henry James's The Ambassadors is edited with an introduction and notes by Adrian Poole in Penguin Classics.

Concerned that her son Chad may have become involved with a woman of dubious reputation, the formidable Mrs Newsome sends her 'ambassador' Strether from Massachusetts to Paris to extricate him. Strether's mission, however, is gradually undermined as he falls under the spell of the city and finds Chad refined rather than corrupted by its influence and that of his charming companion, Madame de Vionnet, and her daughter, Jeanne. As the summer wears on, Mrs Newsome concludes that she must send another envoy to confront the errant Chad - and a Strether whose view of the world has changed profoundly. One of the greatest of James's late works, The Ambassadors is a subtle and witty exploration of different responses to a European environment.

This edition of The Ambassadors includes a chronology, further reading, glossary, notes and an introduction discussing the novel in the context of James's other works on Americans in Europe, and the novel's portrayal of Paris.

Henry James (1843-1916) son of a prominent theologian, and brother to the philosopher William James, was one of the most celebrated novelists of the fin-de-siècle. In addition to many short stories, plays, books of criticism, biography and autobiography, and much travel writing, he wrote some twenty novels. His novella 'Daisy Miller' (1878) established him as a literary figure on both sides of the Atlantic, and his other novels in Penguin Classics include Washington Square (1880), The Portrait of a Lady (1881), The Awkward Age (1899), The Wings of the Dove (1902), The Ambassadors (1903) and The Golden Bowl (1904)

If you enjoyed The Ambassadors, you might like Ford Madox Ford's Parade's End, also available in Penguin Classics.

The Portrait of a Lady

Henry James

Isabel Archer's main aim in life is to protect her independence. She is not interested in settling down and compromising her freedom for the sake of marriage. However, on a trip around Europe with her aunt, she finds herself captivated by the charming Gilbert Osmond, who is very interested in the idea of adding Isabel to his collection of beautiful artworks...

Biography

Henry James was born in 1843 in New York and died in London in 1916. In addition to many short stories, plays, books of criticism, autobiography and travel, he wrote some twenty novels, the first published being Roderick Hudson (1875). They include The Europeans, Washington Square, The Portrait of a Lady, The Bostonians, The Princess Casamassima, The Tragic Muse, The Spoils of Poynton, The Awkward Age, The Wings of the Dove, The Ambassadors and The Golden Bowl.