The Complete Letters of Henry James: 1888–1891

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The Complete Letters of Henry James: 1888–1891

Volume 1

Henry James
Edited by Michael Anesko and Greg W. Zacharias
Katie Sommer, Associate Editor
Introduction by Dee MacCormack

The Complete Letters of Henry James Series

432 pages

Hardcover

October 2024

978-1-4962-4096-5

$95.00 Pre-order

About the Book

This first volume in The Complete Letters of Henry James, 1888–1891 contains 171 letters, of which 119 are published for the first time, written from late November 1888 to April 20, 1890. These letters continue to mark Henry James’s ongoing efforts to care for his sister, develop his work, strengthen his professional status, build friendships, engage timely political and economic issues, and maximize his income, which included hiring an agent. James details work on The Tragic Muse, “Mrs. Temperly,” “An Animated Conversation,” “The Solution,” and other fiction. This volume opens with James in France and concludes with James on the Continent. Dee MacCormack introduces the volume, paying close attention to James’s increasing interest in the theater.
 

Author Bio

Henry James (1843–1916) was an American author and literary critic. He wrote some two dozen novels, including The Portrait of a Lady and The Golden Bowl, and left behind more than ten thousand letters.

Michael Anesko is a professor of English and American Studies at Pennsylvania State University. He is a general editor of The Cambridge Edition of the Complete Fiction of Henry James and the author of Henry James Framed: Material Representations of the Master (Nebraska, 2022), among other works.

Greg W. Zacharias is a professor of English and the director of the Center for Henry James Studies at Creighton University. He is editor of the Henry James Review and of A Companion to Henry James.

Katie Sommer has been associate editor of The Complete Letters of Henry James series since 2007 and has worked on the Henry James letters project since 2001.

Dee MacCormack is an independent scholar and completed her PhD on Henry James in 2021 at the University of Aberdeen. She is the author of numerous papers and articles on Henry James.
 

Praise

“Beautiful editions.”—Louis B. Jones, Threepenny Review

“[These volumes have] meticulously researched notes. . . . The glimpses that the letters offer of James’s conflictedness as a writer are among the volumes’ most valuable features—contributing, as [Sarah] Wadsworth suggests, to a more humanizing portrait than ‘the master’ image propagated by twentieth-century critics. . . . Michael Anesko and Gregory W. Zacharias’s achievement amounts to a culmination; they have given us authoritative editions comprising all James’s extant letters, complete with helpful contextual information.”—Rafael Walker, Edith Wharton Review

“The series is exemplary in its meticulous attention to details of what James wrote. . . . Despite the unconventional look of this text, the edition is highly readable; and the letters are supplemented by ample explanatory notes, as well as illustrations. . . . It is the distinctively modern status of James’s work and his self-conception that is particularly interesting for contemporary scholarship, and this modernity is amply attested to in this collection of letters, many of which, of course, have never previously been published.”—Guy Davidson, Australasian Journal of American Studies

“At long last we now have a complete edition, which reproduces James’s own corrections as he was writing the letters and gives scrupulous annotations, ending with a biographical register of all correspondence. . . . Even at this early stage we can see how James used his letters to family and friends to strike stances relevant to his planned career. . . . [These volumes] set a very high standard for subsequent volumes to follow.”—David Seed, Journal of American Studies

“James is one of the few writers who could not have written a boring or imprecise word even if just writing a little letter to a friend. . . . This is a great addition to libraries of all sorts, and it should be inspiration for writers to browse through some of these letters to find another writer’s input on topics we all have to ponder.”—Anna Faktorovich, Pennsylvania Literary Journal

Table of Contents

The Complete Letters of Henry James, 1888-1891, volume 1, contains 173 letters, of which 121 are published for the first time. Each letter is followed by previous publication information or a note that there is no previous publication.
  
Acknowledgments                                            
Introduction, “Yours most theatrically, Henry James,” by Dee MacCormack                                             
Symbols and Abbreviations                                  
Chronology                                                   
Errata                                                       
 
1888
24 November         To Houghton, Mifflin and Company         
5 December          To Joseph Pennell                      
8 December          To Joseph Pennell            
15 December         To Edward Compton Mackenzie            
19 December         To Houghton, Mifflin and Company       
23 December         To Edmund Gosse                        
 
1889
1889                To George Du Maurier                   
3 January           To Sirs                                
7 January           To Catharine Walsh                     
11 January          To Thomas Bailey Aldrich               
18 January          To Francis Boott                       
19 January          To Thomas Bailey Aldrich               
19 January          To William James                       
19 January          To Beatrix du Maurier Millar           
22 January          To Macmillan and Company               
22 January          To Frederick Macmillan                 
25 January          To Richard Watson Gilder               
28 January          To Richard Watson Gilder               
29 January          To Edmund Gosse                        
31 January          To Richard Watson Gilder               
13 February 1889 or 1895 To Lady Isabella Augusta Persse Gregory
14 February         To William James                       
16 February         To Thomas Bailey Aldrich               
16 February 1889-1910         To Eugénie Phillips          
18 February         To James McNeill Whistler         
20 February         To Louisa Putnam Loring                
1 March             To Alice Howe Gibbens James            
1 March             To Houghton, Mifflin and Company  
5 March             To Thomas Bailey Aldrich               
8 March             To William James                  
9 March             To Urbain Mengin                       
9 March             To Richard Watson Gilder          
16 March            To Harry Quilter                       
20 March            To Ariana Randolph Wormeley Curtis
20 March            To Daniel Chester French               
20 March            To Isabella Stewart Gardner            
20 March            To Olivia Brown Walsh                  
20 March            To William Dean Howells                
22 March            To Lady Grace Baring                   
22 March            To William James                       
23 March            To Henrietta Reubell                   
25 March            To Charles Eliot Norton           
27 March            To Rhoda Broughton                     
15 April 1889 or 1895    To Lady Elizabeth Eberstadt Lewis
23 April            To Houghton, Mifflin and Company       
25 April            To Edwin Lawrence Godkin               
26 April            To Houghton, Mifflin and Company       
27 April            To Charles Eliot Norton                
29 April            To Grace Norton                        
29 April            To Robert Louis Stevenson              
4 May               To Mary Smith Mundella                 
13 May              To Sidney Woollett                     
17 May              To Dr. William Wilberforce Baldwin     
17 May              To Houghton, Mifflin and Company       
18 May              To Grace Norton                        
20 May              To Francis Boott                       
21 May              To Charles Stanley Reinhart            
22 May              To Sidney Woollett                     
25 May              To William James                       
28 May              To Thomas Bailey Aldrich          
31 May              To Sir Thomas Wemyss Reid              
June 1889 to January 1890 To Edmund Gosse        
1 June              To James Bryce                         
13 June             To William James                       
16 June             To Frederick Macmillan                 
16 June             To Laura Alma-Tadema                   
21 June             To Margaret Oliphant                   
23 June             To Ellen “Nellie” Epps Gosse           
24 June             To George Henry Boughton               
25 June             To Lady Louisa Erskine Wolseley   
July                To Deerfield Summer School of History and Romance                            
1 July              To Mary Theresa Mundella               
6 July              To Lady Cecilia Wyndham Paget     
9 July              To Houghton, Mifflin and Company  
10 July             To Alice Stopford Green                
10 July             To Houghton, Mifflin and Company  
13 July             To Thomas Hardy                        
15 July             To Maud Broadwood Story 
19 July             To Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr.           
20 July             To Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr.           
27 July             To Thomas Bailey Aldrich          
29 July             To Houghton, Mifflin and Company  
1 August            To Arthur Stedman                      
9 August            To Jean Jules Jusserand                
23 August           To William James                       
28 August           To Katharine Peabody Loring            
31 August           To Thomas Bailey Aldrich          
31 August           To Houghton, Mifflin and Company  
6 September         To Lady Florence Eveleen Olliffe Bell    
6 September         To James Russell Lowell                
11 September        To Thomas Bailey Aldrich          
12 September        To Elizabeth “Lily” Gaskell Norton     
13 September        To Houghton, Mifflin and Company  
20 September        To Edwin Lawrence Godkin          
21 September        To William James                       
21 September        To Urbain Mengin                       
21 September        To Henrietta Reubell                   
22 September        To Ariana Randolph Wormeley Curtis     
22 September        To Grace Norton                        
27 September        To Thomas Bailey Aldrich          
2 October           To Houghton, Mifflin and Company  
7 October           To Sir                            
15 October          To Houghton, Mifflin and Company  
20 October          To William James                  
24 October          To James Russell Lowell                
2 November          To Thomas Bailey Aldrich               
6 November          To Jean Jules Jusserand                
8 November          To Rhoda Broughton                
12 November         To Laura Alma-Tadema              
13 November         To Frederick Macmillan            
15 November         To Alphonse Daudet                
17 November         To Leonard Huxley                      
18 November         To Edmund Gosse                        
26 November         To Lady Florence Eveleen Olliffe Bell    
28 November         To Edwin Lawrence Godkin          
28 November         To Leonard Huxley                 
28 November         To William James                  
29 November         To Lady Florence Eveleen Olliffe Bell
29 November         To Edwin Lawrence Godkin          
2 December          To Thomas Bailey Aldrich          
2 December          To Lady Florence Eveleen Olliffe Bell
21 December         To Editor of the Weekly Comedy
26 December         To Lady Elizabeth Eberstadt Lewis 
30 December; probably misdated     To Sir Thomas Wemyss Reid
1890
11 January          To Francis Boott                  
12 January          To Katharine de Kay Bronson       
12 January          To Edwin Lawrence Godkin     
20 January          To William Morton Fullerton  
24 January          To Katharine de Kay Bronson       
24 January          To Edmund Gosse                   
30 January          To Houghton, Mifflin and Company       
1 February          To James Ripley Osgood            
4 February          To William Morton Fullerton  
5 February          To Lady Florence Eveleen Olliffe Bell
7 February          To Lady Florence Eveleen Olliffe Bell
12 February         To Lawrence Barrett               
18 February         To Harper and Brothers       
19 February         To James Russell Lowell      
20 February         To Lady Butt                      
25 February         To Houghton, Mifflin and Company  
25 February         To Henry Quilter                  
4 March             To Anthony John and Mary Smith Mundella
6 March             To Rhoda Broughton                
9 March             To William Morton Fullerton       
9 March             To Sarah Butler Wister                 
9 March             To William James                  
11 March            To William Morton Fullerton       
12 March            To Grace Norton                        
13 March            To Houghton, Mifflin and Company  
18 March            To Houghton, Mifflin and Company       
20 March            To Houghton, Mifflin and Company  
21 March            To Robert Louis and Frances “Fanny” van de Grift Stevenson                           
24 March            To Louisa and Mary Wilhelmina Lawrence 
24 March            To Frederick Macmillan            
24 March            To Frederick Macmillan            
24 March            To Lady Georgina Harriett Deffell Pollock
25 March            To Houghton, Mifflin and Company  
26 March            To Frederick Macmillan       
27 March            To James Russell Lowell           
28 March            To Frederick Macmillan            
31 March            To William Morton Fullerton       
2 April             To Alexander Pollock “A. P.” Watt      
4 April             To Ellen “Nelly” Epps Gosse
6 April             To Lorettus Sutton Metcalf        
9 April             To Alexander Pollock “A. P.” Watt 
9 April             To Alexander Pollock “A. P.” Watt
17 April            To Ariana Randolph Wormeley Curtis
18 April            To James Russell Lowell           
19 April            To Grace Norton                   
20 April            To Sara “Sally” Norton            
20 April            To Henrietta Reubell
 
Biographical Register                                      
General Editors’ Note                                 
Works Cited                                                
Index                   

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