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Portrait of a Novel: Henry James and the Making of an American Masterpiece

Portrait of a Novel: Henry James and the Making of an American Masterpiece

Michael Gorra

ISBN: 978-0-871-40408-4

*Norton agency titles

384 pages

Select type: Hardcover

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Description

Henry James (1843-1916) has had many biographers but Michael Gorra has taken an original approach to this great American progenitor of the modern novel, combining elements of biography, criticism and travelogue in re-creating the dramatic backstory of James's masterpiece, Portrait of a Lady (1881). Gorra shows how this scandalous story came to be written. Travelling to Italy, France and England, he sheds new light on James's family, the European literary circles of George Eliot, Flaubert and Turgenev in which James made his name, and the psychological forces that enabled him to create the most memorable female protagonist. A piercing detective story, Portrait of a Novel provides a brilliant account of the greatest American novel of expatriate life ever written.