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Correspondence To the Editor: WAS HENRY JAMES SHOCKED BY PAULINE VIARDOT? A story about the niceness of HJ^ social sensibility, and the scrupulosity of his observational powers, concerns his having been invited to share a meal with Turgenev and Pauline Viardot at the home of that remarkable lady, and, the event once under way, being shocked to hear his hostess speak to one of the servants engaged in the bearing in and taking away of the courses— her gaffe, and his embarrassment for her, compounded by the presence of his great literary confrere. Brooks m ith, of course, would not have answered her. Nor did Turgenev rise to save the occasion, like Edward Vn with the fingerbowls, and start to talk to the servants too. It's a potentiaUy valuable little anecdote, if it were true. Or even if it had the suspect kind of "living witness" supplied by Ford Madox Ford to fiU out the HJ legend (most parallel would be The Case of Flaubert's Dressing Gown). The Case of the Japanese Print also comes to mind, as recorded by Andre Raffalovich and made generaUy avaüable by NoweU-Smith (Legend 122). But who recorded the scene at the Viardot table? I shall be grateful to any HJR reader who can give me the reference. Prof. Strother B. Purdy Keeler Road Bridgewater, Connecticut, 05752 ^ λΡ •^ H e< Autobiography Henry James Edited and Introduced by Frederick W. Dupee "James' autobiography, like the Education, is an extremely rare and inimitable kind of work." —Robert Sayre, The Examined Self Originally written as three complete books and here reissued in a one-volume edition, this work is available for the first time in paperback and includes A Small Boy and Others, Notes of a Son and Brother, and The Middle Years. Begun when James was sixty-eight years old, Autobiography is a highly personal account of the great novelist's discovery of himself, of Europe, and of his artistic vocation, as well as a fascinating story of the life of one of the most remarkable families of the nineteenth century. P: $12.50. C: $50.00 Princeton 41 William Street, University Press Princeton, NJ 08540 Volume V 78 Number 1 ...


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