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Selected Tales (Penguin Classics) Paperback – October 1, 2001

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 704 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin Classics (October 1, 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0140436944
  • ISBN-13: 978-0140436945
  • Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 1.1 x 7.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #562,387 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

Founded in 1906 by J.M. Dent, the Everyman Library has always tried to make the best books ever written available to the greatest number of people at the lowest possible price. Unique editorial features that help Everyman Paperback Classics stand out from the crowd include: a leading scholar or literary critic's introduction to the text, a biography of the author, a chronology of her or his life and times, a historical selection of criticism, and a concise plot summary. All books published since 1993 have also been completely restyled: all type has been reset, to offer a clarity and ease of reading unique among editions of the classics; a vibrant, full-color cover design now complements these great texts with beautiful contemporary works of art. But the best feature must be Everyman's uniquely low price. Each Everyman title offers these extensive materials at a price that competes with the most inexpensive editions on the market-but Everyman Paperbacks have durable binding, quality paper, and the highest editorial and scholarly standards. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

About the Author

Henry James (1843-1916), born in New York City, was the son of noted religious philosopher Henry James, Sr., and brother of eminent psychologist and philosopher William James. He spent his early life in America and studied in Geneva, London and Paris during his adolescence to gain the worldly experience so prized by his father. He lived in Newport, went briefly to Harvard Law School, and in 1864 began to contribute both criticism and tales to magazines.

In 1869, and then in 1872-74, he paid visits to Europe and began his first novel, Roderick Hudson. Late in 1875 he settled in Paris, where he met Turgenev, Flaubert, and Zola, and wrote The American (1877). In December 1876 he moved to London, where two years later he achieved international fame with Daisy Miller. Other famous works include Washington Square (1880), The Portrait of a Lady (1881), The Princess Casamassima (1886), The Aspern Papers (1888), The Turn of the Screw (1898), and three large novels of the new century, The Wings of the Dove (1902), The Ambassadors (1903) and The Golden Bowl (1904). In 1905 he revisited the United States and wrote The American Scene (1907).

During his career he also wrote many works of criticism and travel. Although old and ailing, he threw himself into war work in 1914, and in 1915, a few months before his death, he became a British subject. In 1916 King George V conferred the Order of Merit on him. He died in London in February 1916.

More About the Author

Henry James (1843-1916), the son of the religious philosopher Henry James Sr. and brother of the psychologist and philosopher William James, published many important novels including Daisy Miller, The Wings of the Dove, The Golden Bowl, and The Ambassadors.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Doug - Haydn Fan VINE VOICE on February 7, 2009
Format: Paperback
This collection cherry-picks from the many short-stories and novellas of Henry James - he wrote over 100 - and in one volume we are treated to the full range of the author's prodigious gifts.

Standouts include, "Daisy Miller", a story of innocence destroyed, with the touchingly willful Daisy one of his most vibrant and human creations; "The Lesson of the Master", where James cleverly gives us a foretaste of the best of O'Hara zingers in a super surprise ending; "The Jolly Corner", another ghostly tale about a man who discovers the self he left behind; and "Julia Bride" a favorite of mine, a late distillation of the themes found in his last major novels.

The contents are as follows,

Further Reading
Henry James Chronology
Notes on the Texts

Four Meetings
Daisy Miller
The Pension Beaurepas
The Lesson of the Master
The Pupil
The Real Thing
Greville Fane
The Middle Years
The Death of the Lion
The Figure in the Carpet
In the Cage
The Real Right Thing
Broken Wings
The Abasement of the Northmores
The Beast in the Jungle
The Birthplace
Fordham Castle
Julia Bride
The Jolly Corner


Everyone will find favorites here, and for those scared off by the novels this set of stories is an excellent introduction.
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Format: Paperback
Henry James (1843-1916) is known as a Master of Fiction. He wrote several major novels such as "The Portrait of A Lady"; "The Wings of A Dove"; "The Ambassadors"; "The Golden Bowl": "The American""The Tragic Muse" and other masterpieces of the literary art.
In this Penguin edition "Selected Tales" the editors have selected several of James' best stories. "The Turn of the Screw" his best known story is not in this collection but in another Penguin edition along with "The Aspern Papers."
Among the tales told by stortyller James are:
Daisy Miller-An 80 page exploration of James'theme of American and European cultural exchanges. James was known for his "international theme" living most of his long life in Europe. The tale revolves around the ingenuous and fetching young American virgin girl Daisy Miller and her contacts with the old world civilization and morality of Europe. The story is narrated by a worldly Amercan expatriate named Giles Winterbourne. The story ends in tragedy. It is one of James best and most readable tales.
The Jolly Corner is a ghost story dealing with a famous writer's return to his boyhood home.
The Figure in the Carpet deals with people seeking to find a secret formula to be found in a great author's work. Many critics have seen that theme to deal with James' homosexual lifestyle.
The Death of the Master, The Middle Years and several other stories deal with the life of an author and his/her legacy.
The Birthplace is a story about a guide who embellishes the truth about Shakespeare as he guides tourists through the famous playwright's boyhood home.
James deals with Americans abroad in European high society. He often uses foreign phrases in his works.
Read more ›
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Shalom Freedman HALL OF FAMETOP 1000 REVIEWER on October 30, 2005
Format: Paperback
Henry James is one of the world's greatest masters of the long short story. The stories share many qualities with the great novels. They are often tales of consciousness and perception in which the heart of the action is in the mind's dramatic interaction with its experience of other characters. The language has complication and parenthetical grace. There is a consummate artistry and composition and the works build to their climax in a revelation of sudden perception and clarity. The fundamental feeling may be of a frustration in life which is somehow transcended by the power of Art.

Reading these stories is coming into touch with one of the first class minds of world - literature.
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2 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Brian A. Oard on August 23, 2006
Format: Paperback
This great selection of James's tales includes several of his widely-anthologized and well-known stories as well as the brilliant but little-known novella "In The Cage." Perhaps more interestingly, readers searching for the James stories that Gay Studies scholars are always referencing will also find many of them here: "The Figure in the Carpet," "The Pupil," "The Middle Years", and others. If you're cruising for gay Henry, if you want to find the figure so carefully woven in the Master's carpet, this selection is the place to go.
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2 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Michael Fridman on September 20, 2006
Format: Paperback
I'll start with the reason why I didn't give it 5 stars. This is the only work by James that I read and I found it to be incredibly dense, the language he uses, the imagery, allusions and devices he employs make for an incredibly difficult read. I've read some allegedly dense books in my time but his style takes the cake - I simply found myself skipping at least 2 of the stories in this collection because I just became utterly lost and bored. Of course there's a great chance that I'm the dense one.

On the plus side, James is incredible at creating worlds that explore the social and psychological dimensions, in a deeper way than almost any writer I've encountered. We see the contradictions, cruelty and sublimity of the human mind like never before. James is concerned largely with occurences in "polite" society, although the clash between this world and the general world sometimes forms the basis of a masterful story like In The Cage. The other thing I adored was his self-referentiality. So many of his celebrated long short stories are about fiction and about stories or the writing process. James is also the master of frustration: his best stories often focus around some secret or Grand Truth that's never revealed to the reader. We are resigned to the sidelines, watching the reflexions (James's spelling!) of the greater picture. But this makes his stories more appealing, not less, and turns them into classics.

I heartily recommend it to anyone who has the patience to delve into this immensely rich world of character and feeling.
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