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James, Henry

James, Henry

James, Henry, 1811-82, American student of religion and social problems, b. Albany, N.Y.; father of the philosopher William James and of the novelist Henry James. He rebelled against the strict Calvinist theology of his family and of Princeton Theological Seminary, to which he was sent, and sought a personal solution. Swedenborg's teachings opened for him a way and provided the framework for his own thought as expressed in Substance and Shadow; or, Morality and Religion in Their Relation to Life (1863), Society the Redeemed Form of Man, and the Earnest of God's Omnipotence in Human Nature (1879), and other books. He later developed a social philosophy based upon the principles of Charles Fourier. He was a close friend of many literary figures, including Ralph Waldo Emerson and Thomas Carlyle.

See F. H. Young, The Philosophy of Henry James (1950); biographies by A. Warren (1934) and A. Habegger (1994). See also studies of the James family by F. O. Matthiessen (1947), R. W. B. Lewis (1991), and P. Fisher (2008).

James, Henry, 1843-1916, American novelist and critic, b. New York City. A master of the psychological novel, James was an innovator in technique and one of the most distinctive prose stylists in English.

He was the son of Henry James, Sr., a Swedenborgian theologian, and the brother of William James, the philosopher. Educated privately by tutors in Europe and the United States, he entered Harvard law school in 1862. Encouraged by William Dean Howells and other members of the Cambridge literary circle in the 1860s, James wrote critical articles and reviews for the Atlantic Monthly, a periodical in which several of his novels later appeared in serial form. He made several trips to Europe, and while there he became associated with such notable literary figures as Turgenev and Flaubert. In 1876 he settled permanently in London and became a British subject in 1915.

James devoted himself to literature and travel, gradually assuming the role of detached spectator and analyst of life. In his early novels, including Roderick Hudson (1876), The American (1877), Daisy Miller (1879), and The Portrait of a Lady (1881), as well as some of his later work, James contrasts the sophisticated, though somewhat staid, Europeans with the innocent, eager, though often brash, Americans. In the novels of his middle period, The Bostonians (1886), The Princess Casamassima (1886), and The Tragic Muse (1890), he turned his attention from the international theme to reformers, revolutionaries, and political aspirants.

During and after an unsuccessful six-year attempt (1889-95) to win recognition as a playwright, James wrote a series of short, powerful novels, including The Aspern Papers (1888), What Maisie Knew (1897), The Spoils of Poynton (1897), The Turn of the Screw (1898), and The Sacred Fount (1901). In his last and perhaps his greatest novels, The Wings of the Dove (1902), The Ambassadors (1903), and The Golden Bowl (1904), all marked by a return to the international theme, James reached his highest development in the portrayal of the intricate subtleties of character and in the use of a complex, convoluted style to express delicate nuances of thought.

Perhaps more than any previous writer, James refined the technique of narrating a novel from the point of view of a character, thereby laying the foundations of modern stream of consciousness fiction. The series of critical prefaces he wrote for the reissue of his novels (beginning in 1907) won him a reputation as a superb technician. He is also famous for his finely wrought short stories, including "The Beast in the Jungle" and "The Real Thing," which are masterpieces of the genre. In addition to fiction and literary criticism, James wrote several books on travel and three autobiographical works. He never married.

Bibliography

See his notebooks, ed. by F. O. Matthiessen and K. B. Murdock (1947); his plays, ed. by L. Edel (1949); his travel writings, ed. by R. Howard (2 vol., 1993); his selected letters, ed. by P. Horne (1999); biographies by L. Edel (5 vol., 1953-71, rev. ed. 1985), R. Gard (1987), F. Kaplan (1992), L. Gordon (1999), and S. M. Novick (2 vol., 1996 and 2007); studies by F. O. Matthiessen (1944), J. W. Beach (rev. ed. 1954), Q. Anderson (1957), S. Sears (1968), P. Buitenhuis (1970), O. Cargill (1961, repr. 1971), and P. Brooks (2007). See also studies of the James family by F. O. Matthiessen (1947), R. W. B. Lewis (1991), and P. Fisher (2008).

(born 1748, Gibraltar—died Jan. 12, 1812, London, Eng.) British army officer and governor-general of Canada (1807–11). In the American Revolution, he was wounded at the Battle of Bunker Hill in 1775 and helped repel the American army's invasion of Canada in 1776. He later served in India. As governor-general in Canada, he cooperated with the governing clique in Quebec but conducted an unpopular repressive policy toward French Canadians. He resigned in 1811 and returned to England.

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Henry James, 1905.

(born April 15, 1843, New York, N.Y., U.S.—died Feb. 28, 1916, London, Eng.) U.S.-British novelist. Born to a distinguished family, the brother of William James, he was privately educated. He traveled frequently to Europe from childhood on; after 1876 he lived primarily in England. His fundamental theme was to be the innocence and exuberance of the New World in conflict with the corruption and wisdom of the Old. Daisy Miller (1879) won him international renown; it was followed by The Europeans (1879), Washington Square (1880), and The Portrait of a Lady (1881). In The Bostonians (1886) and The Princess Casamassima (1886), his subjects were social reformers and revolutionaries. In The Spoils of Poynton (1897), What Maisie Knew (1897), and The Turn of the Screw (1898), he made use of complex moral and psychological ambiguity. The Wings of the Dove (1902), The Ambassadors (1903), and The Golden Bowl (1904) were his great final novels. His intense concern with the novel as an art form is reflected in the essay “The Art of Fiction” (1884), his prefaces to the volumes of his collected works, and his many literary essays. Perhaps his chief technical innovation was his strong focus on the individual consciousness of his central characters, which reflected his sense of the decline of public and collective values in his time.

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(born 1748, Gibraltar—died Jan. 12, 1812, London, Eng.) British army officer and governor-general of Canada (1807–11). In the American Revolution, he was wounded at the Battle of Bunker Hill in 1775 and helped repel the American army's invasion of Canada in 1776. He later served in India. As governor-general in Canada, he cooperated with the governing clique in Quebec but conducted an unpopular repressive policy toward French Canadians. He resigned in 1811 and returned to England.

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James Henry Monk (1784-1856), English divine and classical scholar, was born at Buntingford, Herts.

He was educated at Charterhouse School and Trinity College, Cambridge, and in 1809 was elected Regius Professor of Greek in succession to Porson. The establishment of the classical tripos was in great measure due to his efforts. In 1822 he was appointed dean of Peterborough; in 1830, bishop of Gloucester (with which the see of Bristol was amalgamated in 1836). He is best known as the author of a Life of Bentley (1830) and as the editor (with CJ Blomfield) of Porson's Adversaria (1812).

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