17 October 2013

Henry James - master of the short story

Henry James is well known as the author of magnificent novels such as The Portrait of a Lady, Washington Square, and The Wings of the Dove. But at the same time as writing over twenty full-length novels he also produced over a hundred short stories. And it has to be said that most of them are not so short - some of them stretching to the form of novellas or even short novels - such as The Turn of the Screw and The Aspern Papers. His collection of the Complete Tales runs to twelve handsome volumes - and if you ever spot volumes nine and ten in the Rupert Hart-Davis hardback edition of 1963 I will pay you good money for them. Coming forwards half a century I've spent much of this year writing tutorials on the lesser-known tales, and can report that there are some undiscovered gems amongst them and hardly a dud in sight. There are still a couple to be finished off, but one hundred and three, with story synopses, study resources, critical commentaries, illustrations, and suggestions for further reading are now available here.

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