!!> Read ➮ A Private Life of Henry James: Two Women & His Art ➲ Author Lyndall Gordon – Ivogue.co.uk

A Private Life of Henry James: Two Women & His Art Lyndall Gordon Investigates The Writer S Relations With Two Remarkable Women Who Were Close To Him, And Traces Their Effect And Influence In His Work Both These Women Haunted James, His Elusive Friendship With Constance Feni Woolson, Who Died In 1894, Echoed His Mysterious Relationship With Minnie Temple, Who Died Twenty Years Earlier.


10 thoughts on “A Private Life of Henry James: Two Women & His Art

  1. says:

    It s an interesting angle from which to write a biography, focusing not just on James himself but two women who, Gordon argues, were the sources of forms of femininity to which his fiction returns repeatedly I d never read anything about James s life before and was struck by how limited he was or allowed himself to be, especially in the face of his books, so astute as they are in their understanding of inner lives, their acute emotional intelligence Yet his treatment of his cousin Minny Temple, especially, is so cold, ignoring or pretending to ignore her desperate desire to travel to Europe despite her illness The transformation of Milly into Jamesian heroines Daisy Miller, Isabel Archer, Milly Theale is well known The second woman Gordon focuses on is Constance Feni Woolson, a novelist in her own right and friend of James s later years The connections here are looser, oblique, even less convincing.Overall, this gave me an insight into James but the ...


  2. says:

    In A Private Life of Henry James , Lyndall Gordon attempts to excavate the submerged world of Henry James imagination and his relationship with the most important women in his life The analysis concentrates on James cousin Minny Temple, whose early death haunted James, and Constance Feni Woolson, his friend and fellow writer, whose suicide deeply effected him Gordon shows with numerous detailed examples the process by which James transformed his experiences and relationships into high art The thrust of the book can be discerned from this passage, which shows how James transformative process, resulting in the story The Altar of the Dead , began to lay the groundwork for his late masterpiece, The Wings of the Dove The vision of Mary Antrim a character in the story stirred the idea for a full scale portrait of a dying girl A young creature on the threshold of a life that has seemed boundless, is suddenly condemned to death , he jotted, by the voice of a physician Like Minny, the young woman is in love with life, her dreams of it have been immense, and she clings to it with a passion, with supplication Waiting all this time was the unused passion in Minny s dream To spell out thee biographical sources limits the leap James...


  3. says:

    The full title of this 1998 biography is A Private Life of Henry James Two women and his art It is not one biography, but three, and focuses on the intersections social, emotional and imaginative between the writer and the women James met his cousin Mary Minnie Temple when he was still a young man, and was immediately taken by her bold, capacious approach towards life Later, already an established writer, he met Constance Feni Woolsoon, or rather she met him, for she journeyed to Rome after reading his fiction, hoping to find a common spirit and a willing mentor.In adopting this biographical approach, Gordon makes no bones about what she is doing In the sphere of art, she aims to elevate the women, in particular Woolson, from mere muses or handmaidens to actual collaborators in James s fiction She does not mean that Woolson helped write James s works Rather, the stories that Woolson wrote elicited a conversation with James who replied in his own stories In explaining so convincingly the exchange in fiction between the two writers, Gordon wishes to demolish the myth of the self sufficient artist working in creative solitude, a myth of himself first started by James, and sustained by his destruction of letters and papers before he died.In the sphere of life, or human relations, Gordon depicts James as a predator of souls, especially women s souls, which he took a...


  4. says:

    A thorough and well written, if a bit dry, bio of the great American writer who proved to be less than a likeable human being when it came to his ability to relate to others.


  5. says:

    I totally enjoyed this book, which tells the story of two lesser know yet significant relationships in his life and how they influenced his art It also goes into the other influences and places him in the context of other writers of his time as well as before and after It read like a novel...


  6. says:

    I knew nothing of Henry James and this was a decently interesting biography and literary criticism of his work Read this before reading any of his novels It argues that he derived a lot of his characters and their desires from the women in his life.


  7. says:

    Although Gordon s style is a bit of a struggle to read, the actual content of this biography is really interesting I was especially fascinated with the discussion of the novelist Constance Feni Woolson and I ll definitely be reading some of her work.


  8. says:

    Art, intimacy, renunciation Practically a bio of Constance Feni Woolson, whose work it inspires me to read.


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