A Private Life of Henry James

A Private Life of Henry James

Two Women and His Art

Book - 1999
Average Rating:
Rate this:
Baker & Taylor
An exploration of influences in Henry James's life shows how his cousin Minny Temple, the hero of his youth, and writer Constance Fenimore Woolson, an ambitious and skilled author, had a lasting effect on the developing novelist.

Norton Pub
The lasting influence on the master's work of two independent, fiercely intelligent women. Henry James's cousin, Minny Temple, was the "heroine" of his youth in New England; he saw her as a free spirit, "a plant of pure American growth." The writer Constance Fenimore Woolson was a friend of his middle years in Europe, a solitary, mature woman who pursued her ambitions with an intensity that matched his own. Both had an extraordinary impact on James, even (perhaps especially) in the wakes of their premature deaths. In this beautifully written and eye-opening biography, Lyndall Gordon gives us a remarkable portrait of two strongly individual women, both ahead of their time, and their creative intimacy with Henry James: "ties more intimate than sex, closer than those of family and friends." Through these women we see some of the most protected aspects of the man more clearly. As Gordon writes, "James invented himself, but he could not have written as he did without partners-female partners, posthumous partners-in that unseen space in which life is transformed into art."

& Taylor

Explores the influences of Minny Temple and Constance Fenimore Woolson on Henry James' life

Publisher: New York : W.W. Norton, 1999
Edition: 1st American ed
ISBN: 9780393047110
Characteristics: xi, 500 p. : ill. ; 25 cm


From the critics

Community Activity


Add a Comment

There are no comments for this title yet.


Add Age Suitability

There are no ages for this title yet.


Add a Summary

There are no summaries for this title yet.


Add Notices

There are no notices for this title yet.


Add a Quote

There are no quotes for this title yet.

Explore Further

Browse by Call Number

Subject Headings


Find it at RCPL

To Top