The Wings of the Dove

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Publisher:
Random House Publishing Group
Pub. Date:
2000
Language:
English
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(Book Jacket Status: Jacketed)Of the three late masterpieces that crown the extraordinary literary achievement of Henry James, The Wings of the Dove (1902) is at once the most personal and the most elemental. James drew on the memory of a beloved cousin who died young to create one of the three central characters, Milly Theale, an heiress with a short time to live and a passion for experiencing life to its fullest. To the creation of the other two, Merton Densher and the magnificent, predatory Kate Croy, who conspire in an act of deceit and betrayal, he brought a lifetime's distilled wisdom about the frailty of the human soul when it is trapped in the depths of need and desire. And he brought to the drama that unites these three characters, in the drawing rooms of London and on the storm-lit piazzas of Venice, a starkness and classical purity almost unprecedented in his work. Under its brilliant, coruscating surfaces, beyond the scrim of its marvelous rhetorical and psychological devices, The Wings of the Dove offers an unfettered vision of our civilization and its discontents. It represents a culmination of James's art and, as such, of the art of the novel itself.
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ISBN:
9780679641568
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Grouped Work ID 2f8afbbc-c526-e328-f11b-799be281377e
Grouping Title wings of the dove
Grouping Author james henry
Grouping Category book
Last Grouping Update 2019-02-18 04:38:35AM
Last Indexed 2019-02-18 04:41:36AM

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author Henry James
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Selected by the Modern Library as one of the 100 best novels of all time

Neither Edith Wharton nor E. M. Forster admired it, but Louis Auchincloss calls The Wings of the Dove 'perhaps the greatest of Henry James's novels.' Published in 1902, the novel represented something of a comeback for James, whose only 'bestseller,' Daisy Miller, had appeared more than two decades earlier. Set amid the splendor of fashionable London drawing rooms and gilded Venetian palazzos, the story concerns a pair of lovers who conspire to obtain the fortune of a doomed American heiress. But the naïve young woman becomes both their victim and their redeemer in James's meticulously designed drama of treachery and self-betrayal. 'It seems to me that I know the characters even more intimately than I know the characters in the earlier novels of his Balzac period,' said Louis Auchincloss. 'The Wings of the Dove represents the pinnacle of James's prose.' This version is the definitive New York Edition, which appeared in 1907, together with the author's Preface.

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title_display The Wings of the Dove
title_full The Wings of the Dove
title_short The Wings of the Dove
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topic_facet Classic Literature, Fiction, Historical Fiction, Literature