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Shannon Gallup

English 10
Ms. Gardner
28 October 2014
A Collection of Henry James
Haralson, Eric, and Kendall Johnson. "James, Henry." Critical Companion to Henry James: A
Literary Reference to His Life and Work, Critical Companion. New York: Facts On File,
Inc., 2009. Bloom's Literature. Facts On File, Inc. Web. 29 Oct. 2014

This insightful essay focuses on every aspect and connection of Henry James and The
Portrait of a Lady. Analysis of everything from the title to James childhood is included and
thoroughly discussed to offer a deeper understanding of the man behind the text. In addition,
extensive research on his original book preceding his revision is filtered through the eyes of
multiple critics, discerning cultural patterns of Europe and America as well as connections of
world history and James own life.
Though rather lengthy, the extensive collection of professional opinions forms a multifaceted
view for the reader. Opinions expressed are generally not of the authors-- instead, they are
collected ideas from critics of the 1800s to modern day reader. By doing so, Haralson and
Johnson provide a more exhaustive analysis than any singular author could produce. Because of
the vast amount of perspectives and in-depth nature of the material, having a companion such as
this offers a fresh and complex reading of the novel.

Merriman, C. D. "Henry James." Henry James. Jalic Inc., 2008. Web. 11 Nov. 2014.

This version of Henry Jamess biography is less colorful and analytical than contrasting texts,
instead focusing on the dry facts of his birth, life, and death. Some opinion on his personal life
decisions are brought up, but the rest is the minimum of facts and dates.
His decision to possess a dual citizenship and how that was reflected in his writing is
discussed to a degree, providing instead of an argument, a prompt for debate. If one was writing
a research paper on his life in which you provided your own analysis of his life, this article could
certainly assist in your understanding of the basic facts of James life, but beyond that, lacked
engaging edge.

Dalias, Joel. "Bitcoin Magazine." Scottish Independence. Bitcoin Magazine, 15 Sept. 2014. Web. 29 Oct.

The independence of Scotland has been highly debated in recent times, and with all the hype it can be
hard to discern what is actually occurring. Through clear and comprehensible language, Joel Dalias has
created an easy article to understand the controversies surrounding the vote historically as well as
politically. He focuses on why the vote to secede came about, how it will affect political relationships and
the economy, and how the common people will be affected by the vote.
As Scotland fights for its independance, the same theme is played out in The Portrait of a Lady
through Isabel Archer. Much how large political decisions are made by a background person, Madame
Merle orchestrates Isabels encounter with Osmond; the same way that ultimately, the decision comes
down to the peoples vote, Isabel makes her final choice to secure or destroy her freedom.

KK, Yonca. "Females in Victorian Era 27." NEWSTEG the Best Educational News Site in


RSS. Izmit News, 27 Mar. 2013. Web. 13 Nov. 2014.

Isabels struggle to secure her rights as an immigrant to Victorian England proved challenging
enough, but it was nothing compared to the blatant lack of rights given to women of native English
heritage. As pointed out multiple times and supported through the duration of the text, the rights of
Victorian women were essentially equal to those of village children.
The careful use of rhetorical devices persuades one to sympathize with the plight of our ancestral
women and appreciate how far our society has come. We are left with a new appreciation as to why Isabel
was so adamant about maintaining her freedom and what she was fighting against.

Fogel, Daniel M., Ph.D. "Henry James." PBS. PBS, n.d. Web. 13 Nov. 2014.
When Henry James is appreciated, it is mostly for his novels or short stories-- however, this version
ties us into the entirety of his works. From literary reviews to autobiographies, the main aspects of his
literary career are covered in six sections that span through his life.
Though professional language dominates Fogel;s article, there is a clear patronizing undertone to his
words. References to James as the Master of Victorian literature and a devotion to analyzing James life
is proof of Fogels admiration of his expertise. Though facts about James life are present, they are far
outweighed by the insight offered into what shaped the career and character of Henry James.

Howells, William D. "Criticisms and Interpretations. I. By William Dean Howells. James, Henry. The
Portrait of a Lady. Harvard Classics Shelf of Fiction." Criticisms and Interpretations. I. By William
Dean Howells. James, Henry. 1917. The Portrait of a Lady. Vol. XI. Harvard Classics Shelf of
Fiction. Bartleby, n.d. Web. 14 Nov. 2014.

Whether or not one appreciated James romantic writing, one cannot argue that it was unique in its
field. Howells interpretation of this lies in the fact that he believes James to be in a genre of his own-- a
genre where the goal of the story is analytical character development rather than telling a plot line. He
compares The Portrait of a Lady with other novels of its time to prove how the style of writing strayed
from the norm.
Because, whether we intend to or not, we subconsciously compare the nature of The Portrait of a Lady
to other novels we may have read, many readers are unfamiliar to the goal of character development
versus storytelling. Categorizing James in this fashion does not eliminate the need for an ending to his
novels, but rather provides an explanation as to why the stories was left arguably incomplete.

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