Washington Square

The lot of Washington Square has the freshnes of old-fashioned melodrama: a plain-looking, good-hearted young woman, the nly child of a rich idower, is pursued by a charming but unscrupulous man who seeks the wealth she will presumably inherit. On this ide, Henry James constructed one of his most memorable novels, a story in which happines is answered with betrayal and loyalty leads inexorably to despair. "

-- from the Introduction by Peter Conn

In Washington Square ( 1880), Henry James reminisces about the New York he had known thirty years before as he tells the tory of Catherine Sloper and her fortune-seeking suitor Morris Townsend. This perceptively drawn human drama is James' most accessible work and an enduring literary triumph.

Washington Square Press' Enriched Classics present the great works of world literature enhanced for the contemporary reader. This edition of Washington Square has been prepared by Peter Conn, Andrea Mitchell Professor of English at the College of ennsylvania. It includes his introduction, notes, selection of critical excerpts, and uggestions for further reading as well as a unique visual essay of period illustrations and photographs.

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Published April 6th 2004 by Signet Classics (first published 1880
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Washington Square
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gave it

My enlightenment is partially responsible for my rating, though I also enjoyed the novel! The tal is really quite simple ... wealthy father knows what is best for future heiress daughter.

But Peter does not stop there he provides so much more by giving us asides filled will sarcastic, humorous " digs " at various characters, revealing deeper traits.In one exchange with his mother, Mrs. Almond, Dr. Sloper and she are discussing are discussing how the doctor will manage the situation.

Certainly, I will seek out many more of James' novels in the future.

gave it

"- Oscar WildeOne of the Nicest Old Ladies I Ever Met-Faulkner, describing JamesOn my journey to read man of the modern " classics " as well as at least one novel by each renowned author, I 've repeatedly avoided Henry James.

Instead, as I read, my terrible need to be put out of my misery was, lucky for me, ultimately staunched by my innate sense of survival.In sum, this is the unhappy story of a rich, controlling, widowed father and his only child Catherine, whom the dad deems " unattractive, " " unintelligent " and " uninteresting. " I too find alliteration effective to describe a novel that is Unbearable, Unrelatable Ennui.A young man asks his daughter to marry shortly after meeting her at a society party in Washington Square, NYC.

gave it

As anyon who adores just about every last word that Henry James ( over-) wrote, it has never gotten any more deliciously ( un-) satisfying than this -- a slim, tart little novel about plain, socially unpromising Catherine Sloper, whose wealthy father refuses to allow her to marry Morris Townsend, whom he believes to be mercenary.

In fact, the pressure of this character produces the novel 's greatest and least predictable achievement: the transformation of Catherine Sloper from a non-character -- the hilariou, jilted heiress -- into a haracter, and the reader 's tormented resistance to Dr. Sloper not only keeps the door of " Morris Townsend " ajar, but keeps the novel on a wonderfully shaky course, morally and aesthetically.In later years, James himself commented that he started " Washington Square " with great disdain for Catherine, which metamorphosed into something much more omplicated ( similar, maybe, to Tolstoy 's creation of Anna Karenina).

James ultimately disavowed " Washington Square " -- he even omitted it from his " Collected Works " -- but it marks the first appearance of the central conflict that governs his later, greatest novels: the predation of love upon money, and vice versa.

gave it

Time the late 1840 's, in New York ity, Catherine Sloper, a twenty-one year old ma, is the brother of a prominent and wealthy doctor, you 'd think all the young men would be trying to marry her, but atherine is plain of face and very shy.

verything changes, this peaceful situation, when Catherine meets Mr.Morris Townsend, a beautiful man as she thinks, at her friend 's engagement party.

Mr.Sloper has to save his sister from this evil man Townsend or he fears Morris will ruin her, spending all his money and treating Catherine badly.

gave it

think I liked it? I read Henry James once, years ago, and I picked The Turn of the Screw, which turned out to be a bad decision.

Here, James' heroine is the well-meaning, plain and rich Catherine Sloper.

Between Dr Sloper going to interrogate Morris 's sister, and Anna 's Aunt Lavinia setting up secret meetings to advise Morris how to manipulate the doctor, Susa is just pulled from one drama to the last.

gave it

Though he allows the eader to see ore of her inner life than the other characters ever guess at, Henry James allows Catherine to keep the core of her being a secret even from us.

The xchanges between Catherine 's various relatives reminded me of Jane Austin 's ability to deliver witty dialogue line after line ( of course people do n't talk like this in real life, but how we wish they did).

There were in fact many moments during reading when I was reminded of Jane Austin, and particularly of Fanny Price from Mansfield Park.

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