Enter your mobile number below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
Getting the download link through email is temporarily not available. Please check back later.

  • Apple
  • Android
  • Windows Phone
  • Android

To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.

Washington Square (Penguin Classics)

3.8 out of 5 stars 579 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0141441368
ISBN-10: 0141441364
Why is ISBN important?
ISBN
This bar-code number lets you verify that you're getting exactly the right version or edition of a book. The 13-digit and 10-digit formats both work.
Scan an ISBN with your phone
Use the Amazon App to scan ISBNs and compare prices.
Have one to sell? Sell on Amazon
Buy used On clicking this link, a new layer will be open
$6.99 On clicking this link, a new layer will be open
Buy new On clicking this link, a new layer will be open
$9.00 On clicking this link, a new layer will be open
More Buying Choices
53 Used from $0.01
Free Two-Day Shipping for College Students with Prime Student Free%20Two-Day%20Shipping%20for%20College%20Students%20with%20Amazon%20Student


Best Books of the Year So Far
Looking for something great to read? Browse our editors' picks for the Best Books of the Year So Far in fiction, nonfiction, mysteries, children's books, and much more.
$9.00 FREE Shipping on orders with at least $25 of books. Only 2 left in stock (more on the way). Ships from and sold by Amazon.com. Gift-wrap available.
click to open popover

Frequently Bought Together

  • Washington Square (Penguin Classics)
  • +
  • Appointment in Samarra: (Penguin Classics Deluxe Edition)
Total price: $20.86
Buy the selected items together

Editorial Reviews

From Library Journal

In the late-19th-century world of James (The Aspern Papers, Audio Reviews, LJ 1/93), upper-class New Yorkers move in an atmosphere of gentle melancholy, with just a touch of decadence. Catherine Sloper is neither brilliant nor charming, merely good. She is also the heiress Mr. Townsend wants to marry. Her father wants to protect her, or is it that he is more concerned with thwarting a defiant bounder? Her aunt uses Catherine's romance as an opportunity to add drama to her own life. Who will win? What is winning in this situation? Most of the book is devoted to a delicate exploration of the thoughts, activities, and motivations of a small group of people. William Hope delivers a clear and competent performance of the text. The question becomes, as Henry James is not a highly popular author, is there a significant audience for an abridged audio of his work? His focus on human interplay rather than plot would seem to appeal to "full text" readers. For this reason, although a very good value, this audiobook is recommended only for larger public and academic libraries.AI. Pour-El, Iowa State Univ., Ames
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Review

"Lorna Raver doesn't just read this book; she inhabits it." ---AudioFile --This text refers to the Audio CD edition.
NO_CONTENT_IN_FEATURE

New York Times best sellers
Browse the New York Times best sellers in popular categories like Fiction, Nonfiction, Picture Books and more. See more

Product Details

  • Series: Penguin Classics
  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin Classics (December 18, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0141441364
  • ISBN-13: 978-0141441368
  • Product Dimensions: 5 x 0.6 x 7.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (579 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #267,600 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
"Washington Square", published in 1880, is not, and will not be, regarded as Henry James's best novel -- the honor would go to "The Portrait of a Lady" or much later works like "The Wings of the Dove" -- but this short but richly woven book deserve our attention. The book is always readable and intriguing while it does not fail to deliver the amazingly realistic characters living in New York City of the 19th century. Certainly, this is the best place for any beginners of James to start.
The book starts with an introduction of a New York physician Dr. Sloper and his only daughter Catherine. While the doctor gained respectable position among the patients, he loses his wife suddenly after the birth of Catherine, who grows up to be a not particularly clever nor beautiful girl. Catherine, painfully shy, becomes a dutiful, but perhaps dull, daughter, the kind of a girl whose awkward behaviors her father approves always with a little detached attitude.
Then, comes a good-looking man Morris Townsend, who has no money but gives a word of "gentleman." But what does that mean when Doctor suspects this is just another fortune hunter, who is seeking for the money Catherine is to inherit after his death? Still, Doctor is half amused, even entertained, by this unexpected visitor who now seems to have gained the love of his daughter. But he didn't expect that Catherine would show surprising obstinate attitude in spite of his threat of disinheriting her.
The book is written, as a whole, with a very tragic note, but as you read on, you will find that, just like Jane Austen's narrator, "Washington Square" has an amusing aspect of comedy at first. The meddling widow Mrs. Penniman, whose wild imagination is one of her weakness, is a good example.
Read more ›
1 Comment 78 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Paperback
Washington Square is a searing portrait of selfishness, cruelty and manipulation that brings a radically new psychological depth to the traditional 19th century novel of manners. In Dr. Sloper James created one of his most insidious characters; a clever, genial man of the world who would rather sees his principles confirmed than his daughter happy. Catherine, the plain victim of a suave fortune-seeking fiancé, has to rank with Melville's Bartleby as a model of passive resistance. As she awakens to her father's flaws, Catherine shows the plodding strength of innocence in the face of his high-handed manipulation. The self-absorbed spinster aunt Lavinia completes the picture, using her niece's courtship as a way to work out her own thwarted romantic desires. Everyone is using everyone for something else, in typical Jamesian fashion, but doing it with style--even in this early work, James had an uncanny feeling for the crude drives that veiled themselves behind good manners and the conventions of respectable society. A great read that has to rank as one of James's darkest and most insightful novels.
2 Comments 36 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Paperback
Today's readers may not find Henry James's masterpiece "The Turn of the Screw" as creepy as it was when first published. To begin with, there is no gore in the book --the moments of horror are so subtle, but they get under one skin.
"The Turn of the Screw" was first published as a serialized novel in Collier's Weekly. After that it was published in the novel format, both in England and USA. When James wrote this novella was a period of increase of the popularity of spiritual issues. Many people were searching for new ways of explaining death, and they were also loosing their Christian faith. Many were trying to communicate with the Other Side.
But the dead in the novella, as James once stated, are not ghosts, as we know them. However, this belief persisted through time, and even today, most readers assume that Peter Quint and Miss Jessel are spectrums or a so-called entity.
On the form, "The Turn of the Screw" has some innovations. Prior to James, most novels were written through one point of view --this narrator told the story and the characters and actions are under his/her way of viewing, judgments, and conclusions. On the other hand, most of James's novels count with a difference: the narrator/character is not aware of everything. In this particular novella, we see the story through the eyes of governess and we know as little as she. Not only she, but also we, has a limited knowledge of the events.
Much can be concluded from the story --it is impossible to have a definitive conclusion. Some say the governess was a good character fighting against evil to protect the two children. But some scholars have researched and concluded that, as a matter of fact, the governess had a troubled mind.
Read more ›
6 Comments 108 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Paperback
One of the shorter novels by Henry James and relatively simple, comparing to his other works, "Washington Square" is a story of hidden emotions, fear of breaking conventions, and hypocrisy resulting from those conventions.

Dr. Austin Sloper is a prosperous, respected Manhattan physician, a widower with one daughter, Catherine. He boasts a sharp mind and considers himself a good judge of character. Although Catherine is rather a plain and uninteresting girl, admittedly even by her family, she has prospect of coming into considerable wealth. Therefore, when she meets Morris Townsend, a handsome, but idle man, and falls in love, her father is on guard and after some research fiercely opposes the marriage, on the graounds that Townsend is a fortune hunter. Lavinia, Catherine's aunt, however, tries to "help" the couple... Catherine, in the center of attention and subjected to manipulations from people claiming to love her, would seem to be a miserable creature, but she has perhaps the most puzzling and complex personality of all the characters!

These four people are the core of the novel and their psychological portraits are subtle yet acute (nobody is a flat, archetypal figure), the hidden faults and qualities of the main and background characters make them very real and complex, the irony towards the society is very clear. There are many things the reader has to fathom from hints and allusions, not everything is explicitly said so to some extent the motives of the protagonists are open to interpretation.

Henry James is a master of psychological novel of his time, great observer and talented writer (comparable maybe to Jane Austen, he also wrote about subjects he well knew).
Read more ›
Comment 24 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse

Most Recent Customer Reviews

Set up an Amazon Giveaway

Washington Square (Penguin Classics)
Amazon Giveaway allows you to run promotional giveaways in order to create buzz, reward your audience, and attract new followers and customers. Learn more about Amazon Giveaway
This item: Washington Square (Penguin Classics)

Pages with Related Products. See and discover other items: classic literature, classics literature