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chapter on Miriam Rooth of The Tragic Muse: "There are, to be sure, people who simply do not like actresses; such had better leave her alone," an astonishing and contradictory ending to his analysis of Miriam as a woman who developed not only her art, but also her character. Since there is really no thematic or critical approach that is central to this study, one ultimately has to approach it on the effectiveness of each individual chapter. In my view, the chapters on Fleda Vetch and Maisie Farange are most successful because of Wagenknecht * s willingness to probe their characterizations in depth. The other chapters are uneven, some, like the one on The Wings of the Dove and The Golden Bowl, reflecting a too-dominant interest in the views of others and a movement away from a focus on the female characters, and others, like the ones I mentioned earlier, raising questions of complexity that are left undeveloped. While a scholarly on the basi combination style , his subsequent energetic, demonstrate it would be misleading to describe Wagenknecht ' s book as breakthrough, it would also be frivolous to dismiss it s of its all too frustrating inadequacies. Wagenknecht's of reason and sensibility, his clarity and elegance of thorough knowledge of the Jamesian canon and the critical canon all contribute to a study that is engrossing, and entirely successful in its intent to the enduring interest of James's female characters. Rosalie Hewitt Northern Illinois University Henry James. ___ W. W. Norton $4.95. The American ______ Edited by James W. Tuttleton. New York: [A Norton Critical Edition], 1978. 496 pp. pb Henry James. ___ and Richard Critical The Wings of the Dove A. Hocks Edition], 1978. ______ Edited by J. Donald Crowley New York: W. W. Norton [A Norton 583 pp. pb $5.95. The first question about any new edition of The American is: What text? Professor Tuttleton has chosen "the London Macmillan edition of 1879, emended and corrected, as necessary, by the editor" (ix). The details of edition, emendation, and correction are given in full following the text of the novel (311-17). We know how crucial the matters of the text are for this novel because five separate texts, each of which James revised at least slightly, exist. Professor Tuttleton opts for the same text used by Matthew Bruccoli in the Riverside edition (1962). The American is most likely to be known in this text from now on, because these two paperback editions are likely to remain in print--and not be seriously challenged—for some time. 112 Professor Tuttleton has added the 1907 Preface for the New York Edition and two additional sections similar to those in earlier volumes in this series, "Background and Sources" and "Criticism." The former section is, predictably, rich; surely no other novelist's intention and fulfillment are so richly documented in printed sources as are James's. Letters, notebooks, travel literature, and occasional essays are quoted. An unusual inclusion is part of James's review of Howells' A Foregone Conclusion, which anticipates, in 1875, his remarks about American Literature in Hawthorne four years later (a passage which is also quoted). But the real surprise and pleasure of this section is the essay by Frederick Sheldon on "The American Colony in France" and James's reply to him, both printed in The Nation in 1878. Sheldon manages to be descriptive, sharp, and thoroughly nasty about travelling Americans; the essay nicely evokes certain assumptions about Americans which Newman faces in the novel. James's reply might be the most interesting item of all, because he is writing for the same audience from whom he hoped to get a good response to the novel itself. Written in the easy style that James developed not for his fictions but for his occasional essays and travel writings, it is deft, sure, and diplomatic: "We are not only out of the European circle politically and geographically; we are out of it socially, and for excellent reasons. We are the only great people of the civilized world that is a pure democracy, and we are the only great people that is exclusively commercial. Add the remoteness represented by...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1080-6555
Print ISSN
0273-0340
Pages
pp. 112-115
Launched on MUSE
2010-03-25
Open Access
No
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