Henry James, Jr. - William Dean Howells - Страница 1 из 15


HENRY JAMES, JR.
by
William Dean Howells
The events of Mr. James's life--as we agree to understand events--may
be told in a very few words. His race is Irish on his father's side
and Scotch on his mother's, to which mingled strains the generalizer
may attribute, if he likes, that union of vivid expression and
dispassionate analysis which has characterized his work from the first.
There are none of those early struggles with poverty, which render the
lives of so many distinguished Americans monotonous reading, to record
in his case: the cabin hearth-fire did not light him to the youthful
pursuit of literature; he had from the start all those advantages
which, when they go too far, become limitations.
He was born in New York city in the year 1843, and his first lessons in
life and letters were the best which the metropolis--so small in the
perspective diminishing to that date--could afford. In his twelfth
year his family went abroad, and after some stay in England made a long
sojourn in France and Switzerland. They returned to America in 1860,
placing themselves at Newport, and for a year or two Mr. James was at
the Harvard Law School, where, perhaps, he did not study a great deal
of law. His father removed from Newport to Cambridge in 1866, and
there Mr. James remained till he went abroad, three years later, for
the residence in England and Italy which, with infrequent visits home,
has continued ever since.
It was during these three years of his Cambridge life that I became


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