Literary Classics

The Wings of the Dove (Barnes & Noble Classics Series) by Henry James

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By Henry James

One among 3 masterpieces from Henry James’s ultimate, “major” phase, The Wings of the Dove dramatizes the clash among nineteenth-century values and twentieth-century passions.

Born to wealth and privilege, Kate Croy’s mom threw all of it away to marry a penniless opium addict. After her mother’s dying, Kate is available a chance to come back to the opulent way of life her mom gave up—on one situation. Kate needs to surrender the fellow she loves: the witty, handsome, yet bad, Merton Densher. Reluctantly agreeing, Kate unearths herself turning into pals with “the world’s richest orphan,” Millie Theale. while Kate learns that Millie is loss of life, she devises a plan of dizzying danger for herself and Merton that are meant to resolve all their difficulties, yet as an alternative leads them down a direction strewn with tragic, unforeseen consequences.

First released in 1902, this wealthy and exciting novel has misplaced none of its fascination and relevance a century later.

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Extra resources for The Wings of the Dove (Barnes & Noble Classics Series)

Sample text

He is nursed by his brother William and William舗s wife, Alice, and the three return to North America. William, also ill, dies shortly thereafter. James visits New York, where he receives psychiatric care. 1911 In August he returns to England. 1914 James begins work on two novels, The Ivory Tower and The Sense of the Past, which he will not complete before his death. 1915 James舗s health deteriorates. He becomes a British subject. 1916 On New Year舗s Day he receives the Order of Merit. On February 28 Henry James dies.

James made no substantive textual changes in the New York Edition of Wings comparable, for example, to what he did with The Portrait of a Lady, in which he made significant alterations, including most notably changes in the novel舗s ending, or with some of the other works that he drastically revised. In Wings, in addition to correcting mistakes, he sharpened the language of the text, by substituting more active and concrete images, and made his symbols more truly poetic. This Barnes & Noble Classics edition is based on the 1909 New York Edition and incorporates a small number of additional editorial changes made by subsequent scholars.

In demonstrating the force of her character by showing how she affects the others, James dramatizes her the more, just as he does with the figure of Mrs. Newsome in The Ambassadors (who never actually appears in the novel). Milly舗s presence is powerfully felt even in her absence. She animates the other characters; they are at first preoccupied with trying to figure her out and then they scheme to use her for their own purposes. Her seeming victimhood is demonstrated by the way the others constantly plot behind her back.

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