Alfred Habegger's Henry James and the ’Woman Business’ PDF

By Alfred Habegger

ISBN-10: 0511585721

ISBN-13: 9780511585722

ISBN-10: 0521366356

ISBN-13: 9780521366359

ISBN-10: 0521609437

ISBN-13: 9780521609432

This can be a historic critique of Henry James when it comes to nineteenth-century feminism and women's fiction. Habegger has dropped at mild broad new documentation on James's tangled connections with what was once notion and written approximately girls in his time. The emphasis is both on his lifestyles and on his fictions. this can be the 1st publication to enquire his father's strange lifelong fight with unfastened love and feminism, a fight that performed a tremendous function in shaping James. The ebook additionally indicates how heavily he distorted the reality in regards to the cousin, Minnie Temple, whose self-assertive photo encouraged him; and the way indebted he was once to convinced American ladies writers whom he attacked in experiences yet whose plots and heroines he appropriated in his personal fiction.

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Additional info for Henry James and the ’Woman Business’

Sample text

So fascinated was he by the Oneida experiment that he more than once visited its Brooklyn branch, probably in 1849 or 1850. A few years later, recollecting his encounter there with the "leading men," he described them as "ultra - that is to say, consistent - Calvinists" whose fanaticism had led them beyond "common sense," and he claimed to have lectured them on their "disorderly lives" ("N. Y. Observer and Mr. James"). An Oneidan who was present, however, remembered the debates rather differently.

In some ways this contradiction applies to all humans, male or female, caught between a desire to do what they want and a need to be cared for by others. But the contradiction had a special pertinence for women of the 1850s. Some may argue that the best-sellers set forth a childish concept of female sexuality in equating girlish affection or worship with adult attachment. Others might counter, more sympathetically, that "to be married figuratively to one's sibling was to be safe from outside forces" (Ziff 170), especially in a culture that insisted home was women's sphere.

Her first novel, The Morgesons (1862), had a fearlessly sensual heroine named Cassandra, and the rendition of her maturation was taut and bitter. Nathaniel Hawthorne was so impressed by the book he wrote Stoddard a congratulatory note. But young Henry James hated The Morgesons, and in 1865, when he read Stoddard's second novel, Two Men, which refurbished the story of the orphan-heroine who marries her guardian, the notice he dashed off for the North American Review was so vituperative it did not see print for a century (Kraft).

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Henry James and the ’Woman Business’ by Alfred Habegger


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