The Complete Letters of Henry James, 1878–1880


The Complete Letters of Henry James, 1878–1880

Volume 2

Henry James

Edited by Pierre A. Walker and Greg W. Zacharias

The Complete Letters of Henry James Series

288 pages


October 2015


$95.00 Add to Cart
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October 2015


$95.00 Add to Cart

About the Book

Containing letters written between September 2, 1879, and May 14, 1880, this second volume of The Complete Letters of Henry James, 1878–1880 documents the full establishment of Henry James as a professional writer and critic on both sides of the Atlantic, as James publishes the novel Confidence and the literary biography Hawthorne and begins work on Washington Square and The Portrait of a Lady. James also visits Paris, Florence, Rome, and Naples; begins his friendship with Constance Fenimore Woolson; and deepens his attachment to London and to his friends and acquaintances there.

Author Bio

Henry James (1843–1916) wrote short stories, plays, literary criticism, and travel essays and is most famous for his many novels, which include The Portrait of a Lady, The Bostonians, The Ambassadors, and The Golden Bowl.

Pierre A. Walker is a professor of English at Salem State University. He is the editor of Henry James on Culture: Collected Essays on Politics and the American Social Scene (Nebraska, 1999).

Greg W. Zacharias is a professor of English at Creighton University, where he directs the Center for Henry James Studies. He is the editor of A Companion to Henry James and coeditor of Tracing Henry James.


Praise for earlier volumes in The Complete Letters of Henry James series:
“This edition is not just notable for its astonishing ambition, however; even at this early stage, it must also be reckoned a signal achievement. By every measure, the volumes we have so far are simply outstanding in every major respect. The books are physically beautiful inside and out; Walker and Zacharias have edited the letters to within an inch of their lives. . . . The result is an embarrassment of critical and biographical riches.”—Bruce Bawer, New Criterion

“The letters collected in these elegant three volumes, edited by Pierre A. Walker and Greg W. Zacharias, cover the period in which Henry James became Henry James. . . . [An] extraordinary job of editing. . . . Both the footnotes and the biographical register at the back of each volume are at once succinct and full. They allow any reader to place and know the people in this busy social world.”—Michael Gorra, Times Literary Supplemen

“Rippling through these letters are the first imaginative stirrings of one of the greatest fiction and travel writers in the language. [James] was also one of the most entertaining—and prolific—correspondents. . . . These are richly enthralling letters.”—Peter Kemp, Sunday Times (London)

“The textual editing of the letters is fantastically thorough, every blot, deletion, insertion, and misspelling being lucidly presented in the text itself and further described in endnotes to each letter; for the reader this evokes the dash and spontaneity of James’s pen, and for the scholar it clarifies every possible ambiguity caused by that dash. . . . The letters themselves are so vivid, funny, and revealing that [the edition] is already indispensable.”—Alan Hollinghurst, Guardian

“The general public has been deprived of James’s full epistolary record until now. . . . All the more reason to celebrate the present volumes, handsomely produced and extensively and intelligently annotated.”—Peter Brooks, Bookforum

“Like earlier releases in the ambitious Complete Letters of Henry James series, this richly rewarding compilation is well annotated and scrupulously edited.”—J. J. Benardete, Choice

“For a snapshot of nineteenth-century Europe—and a sampling of a great novelist’s young mind—there is perhaps nothing better than the latest, meticulously edited volume of The Complete Letters of Henry James [series].”—Alexander Theroux, Wall Street Journal

“The volumes are beautiful, solidly put together, with big type, wide margins, and copious annotations.”—Edmund V. White, New York Review of Books

“These extraordinary, profoundly welcome volumes are the first fruits of an epic undertaking by two heroic American scholars, Pierre Walker and Greg Zacharias. . . . These early volumes give a wonderfully pleasurable picture of a writer at the beginning of his journey, enduring setbacks and barren spells, but already showing the impressive resilience, wisdom, and wit that were the foundations of his astonishing career.”—Philip Horne, Daily Telegraph

Table of Contents

Symbols and Abbreviations    

September 2    To Delano Alexander Goddard    
September 14    To Mary Walsh James    
September 14    To Alexander Macmillan    
September 14    To Thomas Sergeant Perry    
[September 15-22]    To Isabella Stewart Gardner    
September 18    To Josiah Holland    
September 27    To Chatto & Windus    
September 28    To Alexander Macmillan    
[early October]     To Frances Rollins Morse    
October 5    To Chatto & Windus    
October 11    To Henry James Sr.    
October 13    To Chatto & Windus    
October 17    To Grace Norton    
October 19    To Alexander Macmillan    
October 21    To Alexander Macmillan    
October 31    To William Dean Howells    
October 31    To Henry James Sr.     
November 2    To Thomas Sergeant Perry    
November 6    To Henrietta Heathorn Huxley    
November 10    To William James    
November 18    To Mary Walsh James    
[November 19]    To Julia C. Coster Reubell    
November 20    To Elizabeth Boott    
November 26    To Richard Watson Gilder    
December 7    To Elizabeth Boott    
December 15    To Theodore Child    
December 15    To Richard von Hoffmann    
December 16    To Henry James Sr.    
December 16    To William James    
December 19    To Sarah Butler Wister    
<b>December 20 or 27, 1879, or January 3, 10, 17, 24, or 31, 1880</b>    To Helena de Kay Gilder    
December 21    To John S. Barron    
December 21    To Grace Norton    
December 22    To Frances Rollins Morse    
December 31    To Elizabeth Boott    

January 3    To William Dean Howells    
January 5    To Alice James    
January 5    To James Ripley Osgood    
January 8    To George Abbot James    
January 11    To Henry James Sr.     
January 11    To Robertson James    
January 13    To Louisa Lawrence    
January 17    To Henry James Sr.    
January 17    To Grace Norton    
January 17    To Thomas Sergeant Perry    
January 19    To John S. Barron    
January 22    To William Jones Hoppin    
January 22    To Henrietta Heathorn Huxley    
January 29    To Isabella Stewart Gardner    
January 31    To Richard von Hoffmann    
January 31    To William Dean Howells        
February 2    To Mary Walsh James    
February 3    To Helena de Kay Gilder    
February 4    To Theodore E. Child    
February 6    To Theodore E. Child        
February 7    To Anthony John Mundella and Mary Smith Mundella    
February 9    To Joseph Hatton     
February 11    To Henrietta Heathorn Huxley    
February 15    To Henry James Sr.     
February 16    To Gertrude Barbara Rich Collier Tennant    
February 17    To Theodore E. Child    
February 22    To Elizabeth Boott    
February 22    To Thomas Sergeant Perry     
February 22    To John Russell Young    
February 26    To Chatto & Windus    
March 3    To William Jones Hoppin    
March 9    To Jane Octavia Brookfield    
March 9    To Mary Walsh James    
[late March-early May] To Linda White Mazini Villari    
March 30    To Henry James Sr.     
March 31    To Charles Eliot Norton    
April 9    To Grace Norton    
April 11    To Fanny Hertz    
April 16    To Sarah Butler Wister    
April 18    To George Grove    
April 18    To William Dean Howells    
April 18    To Thomas Sergeant Perry    
April 22    To Scribner’s Monthly    
April 25    To Alice James    
May 3    To Catharine Walsh    
May 9    To William James    
May 14    To John Walter Cross    
May 14    To Henry James Sr.    

July 26 [1868]    To Ticknor & Fields    
July 29 [1876]    To Richard Watson Gilder    
May 22 [1878]    To William Jones Hoppin    
July 19 [1879]    To Elizabeth Eberstadt Lewis    

Biographical Register    
General Editors’ Note    
Works Cited    

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