Henry James (1843–1916)

  1. Christopher MacGowan

Published Online: 24 FEB 2012

DOI: 10.1002/9781444393675.ch6

The Twentieth-Century American Fiction Handbook

The Twentieth-Century American Fiction Handbook

How to Cite

MacGowan, C. (2011) Henry James (1843–1916), in The Twentieth-Century American Fiction Handbook, Wiley-Blackwell, Oxford, UK. doi: 10.1002/9781444393675.ch6

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 24 FEB 2012
  2. Published Print: 21 JAN 2011

ISBN Information

Print ISBN: 9781405160230

Online ISBN: 9781444393675



  • major writers;
  • Henry James (1843–1916) - arguing for the importance of fiction - when poetry could lay claim to being the major literary genre;
  • Hawthorne's The Marble Faun (1860) - in Italy, and its theme of Americans in Europe, one that James explored in novels;
  • self-made millionaire Christopher Newman in The American (1877) - finding attractions of a copy greater than the real thing, when visiting the Louvre;
  • wealth, as well as naïvete - making American women vulnerable in James's fiction;
  • success of Daisy Miller, making James a popular writer;
  • The Real Thing” (1892) and “The Turn of the Screw” (1896) - exploring what becomes a major theme in the late fiction;
  • Eliot, the American novel - no further advances till Scott Fitzgerald's The Great Gatsby, in the mid-1920s;
  • James, turning to autobiography, travel writing - a career-long interest;
  • James, becoming a British subject - in protest at the US reluctance in entering World War I


This chapter contains sections titled:

  • Bibliography