This site uses cookies. Learn more about cookies.

Close cookie details

OverDrive would like to use cookies to store information on your computer to improve your user experience at our Website. One of the cookies we use is critical for certain aspects of the site to operate and has already been set. You may delete and block all cookies from this site, but this could affect certain features or services of the site. To find out more about the cookies we use and how to delete them, click here to see our Privacy Policy.

If you do not wish to continue, please click here to exit this site.

Hide notification

  Main Nav

Washington Square

Cover of Washington Square

Washington Square

Borrow Borrow Borrow Borrow
'Washington Square is perhaps the only novel in which a man has successfully invaded the feminine field and produced work comparable to Jane Austen's,' said Graham Greene. Inspired by a story Henry...More
'Washington Square is perhaps the only novel in which a man has successfully invaded the feminine field and produced work comparable to Jane Austen's,' said Graham Greene. Inspired by a story Henry...More
Available formats-
  • Kindle Book
  • OverDrive Read
  • Adobe EPUB eBook
  • Adobe PDF eBook
Languages:-
Copies-
  • Available:
    1
  • Library copies:
    1
Levels-
  • ATOS:
  • Lexile:
  • Interest Level:
  • Reading Level:
    9 - 12

Recommended for you


 
Description-
  • 'Washington Square is perhaps the only novel in which a man has successfully invaded the feminine field and produced work comparable to Jane Austen's,' said Graham Greene.

    Inspired by a story Henry James heard at a dinner party, Washington Square tells how the rakish but idle Morris Townsend tries to win the heart of heiress Catherine Sloper against the objections of her father. Precise and understated, the book endures as a matchless social study of New York in the mid-nineteenth century.

    'Washington Square has long been beloved by almost all readers,' noted Louis Auchincloss. 'The chief beauty of the novel lies in its expression--by background, characterization, and dialogue--of its mild heroine's mood of long-suffering patience. Everything is ordered, polite, still: the charming old square in the pre-brownstone city, the small, innocent, decorous social gatherings, the formal good manners, the quaint reasonableness of the dialogues. . . . James was the poet of cities: New York in Washington Square.' Clifton Fadiman agreed: 'It has extraordinary charm, deriving from an almost Mozartian combination of sweetness and depth.'
Excerpts-
  • Chapter Two It was an element in Doctor Sloper's reputation that his learning and his skill were very evenly balanced; he was what you might call a scholarly doctor, and yet there was nothing abstract in his remedies--he always ordered you to take something. Though he was felt to be extremely thorough, he was not uncomfortably theoretic; and if he sometimes explained matters rather more minutely than might seem of use to the patient, he never went so far (like some practitioners one had heard of) as to trust to the explanation alone, but always left behind him an inscrutable prescription. There were some doctors that left the prescription without offering any explanation at all; and he did not belong to that class either, which was after all the most vulgar. It will be seen that I am describing a clever man; and this is really the reason why Doctor Sloper had become a local celebrity.

    At the time at which we are chiefly concerned with him he was some fifty years of age, and his popularity was at its height. He was very witty, and he passed in the best society of New York for a man of the world--which, indeed, he was, in a very sufficient degree. I hasten to add, to anticipate possible misconception, that he was not the least of a charlatan. He was a thoroughly honest man--honest in a degree of which he had perhaps lacked the opportunity to give the complete measure; and, putting aside the great good nature of the circle in which he practiced, which was rather fond of boasting that it possessed the 'brightest' doctor in the country, he daily justified his claim to the talents attributed to him by the popular voice. He was an observer, even a philosopher, and to be bright was so natural to him, and (as the popular voice said) came so easily, that he never aimed at mere effect, and had none of the little tricks and pretensions of second-rate reputations. It must be confessed that fortune had favored him, and that he had found the path to prosperity very soft to his tread. He had married, at the age of twenty-seven, for love, a very charming girl, Miss Catherine Harrington, of New York, who, in addition to her charms, had brought him a solid dowry. Mrs. Sloper was amiable, graceful, accomplished, elegant, and in 1820 she had been one of the pretty girls of the small but promising capital which clustered about the Battery and overlooked the Bay, and of which the uppermost boundary was indicated by the grassy waysides of Canal Street. Even at the age of twenty-seven Austin Sloper had made his mark sufficiently to mitigate the anomaly of his having been chosen among a dozen suitors by a young woman of high fashion, who had ten thousand dollars of income and the most charming eyes in the island of Manhattan. These eyes, and some of their accompaniments, were for about five years a source of extreme satisfaction to the young physician, who was both a devoted and a very happy husband.

    The fact of his having married a rich woman made no difference in the line he had traced for himself, and he cultivated his profession with as definite a purpose as if he still had no other resources than his fraction of the modest patrimony which, on his father's death, he had shared with his brothers and sisters. This purpose had not been preponderantly to make money--it had been rather to learn something and to do something. To learn something interesting, and to do something useful--this was, roughly speaking, the program he had sketched, and of which the accident of his wife having an income appeared to him in no degree to modify the validity. He was fond of his practice, and of exercising a skill of which he was agreeably conscious, and it was so patent a truth that if he were not a doctor there...
About the Author-
  • Henry James was born in New York City on April 15, 1843, of Scottish and Irish ancestry. His father, Henry James, Sr., was a whimsical, utterly charming, maddeningly openminded parent--a Swedenborgian philosopher of considerable wealth who believed in a universal but wholly unformed society. He gave both Henry and his elder son, William, an infant baptism by taking them to Europe before they could even speak. In fact, Henry James later claimed that his first memory, dating from the age of two, was a glimpse of the column of the Place Vendome framed by the window of the carriage in which he was riding. His peripatetic childhood took him to experimental schools in Geneva, Paris, and London. Even back in the United States he was shuffled from New York City to Albany to Newport to Boston and finally to Cambridge, where in 1862 he briefly attended Harvard Law School. 'An obscure hurt,' probably to his back, exempted him from service in the Civil War, and James felt he had failed as a man when it counted most to be one and he vowed never to marry.

    In search of a possible occupation, the young James turned to literature; within five years it had become his profession. His earliest story appeared in The Atlantic Monthly in 1865, when he was twenty-two. From the start of his career James supported himself as a writer, and over the next ten years he produced book reviews, drama and art criticism, newspaper columns, travel pieces and travel books, short stories, novelettes, a biography, and his first novel--Roderick Hudson (1876). Late in 1875, following two recent trips to Europe, James settled in Paris, where he met Turgenev, Flaubert, and Zola, and wrote The American (1877). In December 1876 he moved to London, where he produced The Europeans (1878). Soon afterward he achieved fame on both sides of the Atlantic with the publication of Daisy Miller (1879), the book that forever identified him with the 'international theme' of the effect of Americans and Europeans on each other.

    Yet Henry James aspired to more than the success of Daisy Miller. Determined to scale new literary heights, James abandoned the intense social life of his earlier years and, with Balzac as his role model, devoted himself all out to the craft of fiction. Although The Portrait of a Lady (1881) was critically acclaimed and sold well, the other novels of James's 'Balzac' period--Washington Square (1881), The Bostonians (1886), The Princess Casamassima (1886), and The Tragic Muse (1890)--were not popular with the public. As a result, he decided to redirect his efforts and began writing for the stage. In 1895, the disastrous opening night of his play Guy Domville--when James came onstage only to be hissed and booed by the London audience--forever ended his career as a playwright.

    Rededicating himself to fiction, he wrote The Spoils of
    Poynton (1897), What Maisie Knew (1897), The Turn of the Screw (1898), and The Awkward Age (1899). Then, as he approached and passed the age of sixty James's three greatest novels appeared in rapid succession: The Wings of the Dove (1902), The Ambassadors (1903), and The Golden Bowl (1904). He spent most of his remaining years at Lamb House, his ivy-covered home in Rye, writing his memoirs and revising his novels for the twenty-four-volume New York Edition of his lifework. When World War I broke out, he was eager to serve his adopted country and threw himself into the civilian war effort. In 1915, after four decades of living in England, James became a British subject, and King George V conferred the Order of Merit on hi...

Reviews-
  • Graham Greene "Henry James is as solitary in the history of the novel as Shakespeare is in the history of poetry."
Title Information+
  • Publisher
    Random House Publishing Group
  • Kindle Book
    Release date:
  • OverDrive Read
    Release date:
  • Adobe EPUB eBook
    Release date:
  • Adobe PDF eBook
    Release date:
Digital Rights Information+
  • Copyright Protection (DRM) required by the Publisher may be applied to this title to limit or prohibit printing or copying. File sharing or redistribution is prohibited. Your rights to access this material expire at the end of the lending period. Please see Important Notice about Copyrighted Materials for terms applicable to this content.

You've reached your checkout limit.

Visit your Bookshelf to manage your titles.

×

You already have this title checked out.

Want to go to your Bookshelf?

×

Recommendation Limit Reached.

You have reached the maximum number of titles you are permitted to recommend at this time.

×

Sign in to recommend this title.

Recommend your library consider adding this title to the Digital Collection.

×
×

×

To recommend Washington Square, complete the following information:

*indicates required information

(comma separates multiple email addresses, i.e. bob@aol.com, bob@hotmail.com)

Subject: Check out this downloadable title at the Deschutes Public Library


We respect your privacy. Any and all information collected at this site will be kept strictly confidential and will not be sold, reused, rented, loaned, or otherwise disclosed.

×
Recommend this title to the library to be added to the Digital Collection
Washington Square
Washington Square
Henry James
×
Buy it now
and help our library WIN!
Washington Square
Washington Square
Henry James
Choose a retail partner below to buy this title for yourself.
A portion of this purchase goes to support your library.
Clicking on the 'Buy It Now' link will cause you to leave the library download platform website. The content of the retail website is not controlled by the library. Please be aware that the website does not have the same privacy policy as the library or its service providers.
×
×

To recommend '', complete the following information:

*indicates required information

(comma separates multiple email addresses, i.e. bob@aol.com, bob@hotmail.com)

Subject: Check out this downloadable title at the Deschutes Public Library

We respect your privacy. Any and all information collected at this site will be kept strictly confidential and will not be sold, reused, rented, loaned, or otherwise disclosed.

×