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The search for happiness and fulfilment in the fiction of Henry James : women, men and the artist 1976

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THE SEARCH FOR HAPPINESS AND FULFILMENT IN THE FICTION OF HENRY JAMES: WOMEN, MEN, AND THE ARTIST by KATHRYN MARGARET LUKES . B.A. (Honours), University of Alberta, 1968 A THESIS SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF Master of Arts i n the Department of English v We accept t h i s thesis as conforming to the required standard THE UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA February, 1976 In presenting th i s thesis in pa r t i a l fu l f i lment of the requirements for an advanced degree at the Un ivers i ty of B r i t i s h Columbia, I agree that the L ibrary sha l l make it f ree l y ava i l ab le for reference and study. I fur ther agree that permission for extensive copying of th is thesis for scho lar ly purposes may be granted by the Head of my Department or by his representat ives. It is understood that copying or pub l i ca t ion of th is thes is for f i nanc ia l gain sha l l not be allowed without my writ ten pe rm i ss i on . Department of The Univers i ty of B r i t i s h Columbia 2075 Wesbrook Place Vancouver, Canada V6T 1W5 Date - i i - ABSTRACT James's profound pessimism about the l i v e s of the vast majority of the characters whom he chooses to portray i n his f i c t i o n has been somewhat under emphasized by the c r i t i c s . James considers a l i f e successful only when the i n d i v i d u a l i n question r e a l i z e s his inner p o t e n t i a l and thus achieves a sense of s e l f - f u l f i l m e n t . Yet the reader's cumulative impression of James's f i c t i o n i s that his characters almost in v a r i a b l y f a i l to achieve t h i s desirable state, and that they are doomed to disappointment and heartache. This unhappi- ness almost in v a r i a b l y arises from the r e l a t i o n between the sexes. James considers several major categories of people, but a l l but one group, the a r t i s t s , f a l l short of the objective. For example, James's young female characters (whether Euro- pean, English, or American), are under constant pressure to "marry w e l l " — t o seize the nearest man and the largest f o r - tune. Yet James portrays marriage as the most inhumane of i n s t i t u t i o n s ; as one i n which women immure themselves and s a c r i f i c e a l l t h e i r i n d i v i d u a l i t y . S i m i l a r l y , James's male characters are never happy or f u l f i l l e d e i t h e r i n marriage or i n business, for i n marriage they tend to be bru t a l or in s e n s i t i v e , while i n business they subjugate t h e i r moral - i i i - and aesthetic senses to a c q u i s i t i v e ones. Such debased values are detrimental to the man himself and to a l l those with whom he l i v e s . Nor are the rare s e n s i t i v e men i n James's f i c t i o n successful i n l i f e , for,they tend to base t h e i r own happiness on the actions of other p e o p l e — a pre- carious foundation. James believes only one sort of happiness i s worthwhile and l a s t i n g , and that possession of i t constitutes success i n l i f e . Only the a r t i s t can achieve t h i s perfect happi- ness but he can enjoy i t only on the most d i f f i c u l t terms: he must commit himself absolutely to his a r t . The a r t i s t must be a man or woman unlike others, s a c r i f i c i n g a l l earthly v a n i t i e s to his one i d e a l v i s i o n . He cannot permit himself to be overwhelmed by the ordinary concerns of d a i l y l i f e . He must remove himself as much as possible from the world of getting and spending, loving and marrying. Only by making t h i s absolute commitment can he achieve the happi- ness which consists of knowing that he has done the best work that i s i n him. This sense of consummate achievement constitutes happiness for James's a r t i s t characters. They consider i t worth the p r i c e they pay. - i v - TABLE OF CONTENTS Introduction 1 . - 5 Chapter One: Women i n the F i c t i o n 6 - 61 Notes to Introduction and Chapter One 62 - 65 Chapter Two: Men i n the F i c t i o n 66 - 9 7 Notes to Chapter Two 98 - 101 Chapter Three: The A r t i s t i n the F i c t i o n 102 - 133 Notes to Chapter Three 134 - 135 Conclusion 136 - 142 Bibliography 143 - 149 -1- Introduction Henry James has a profoundly pessimistic view of l i f e . His f i c t i o n demonstrates that he believed unhappiness and disappointment to be the most c h a r a c t e r i s t i c states of the human condition. He sees the re l a t i o n s h i p between the sexes as the o r i g i n of much of t h i s discontent. For James's characters, to f a i l i n love and marriage i s to f a i l , indeed. Marriage and courtship are thus central issues i n his f i c - t i o n . Many of h i s characters seem destined to f a i l i n t h i s important area of human enterprise; most often because the roles society has decreed for them r e s u l t i n t h e i r being i l l - prepared, choosing b l i n d l y , and lacking foresight as to the probable consequences of t h e i r actions. James most often sees love as a maelstrom, marriage as a trap. Courtship and marriage i s thus a common pattern i n the l i v e s of James's characters though James demonstrates, time and time again, that i t i s not a v a l i d goal at a l l ; that i t i s , i n fa c t , a fool's paradise. By the time his characters r e a l i z e t h e i r mistakes i t i s too l a t e . The society i n which they l i v e continues to gauge personal worth by the " b r i l - liance" of one's marriage, while James's characters stare at the enormity of t h e i r errors with growing dread and under- standing. -2- What, then, i s worthwhile i n a world of i l l u s i o n and change? Only the production of great art o f f e r s a sense of permanence and serenity, and i t i s to be enjoyed only through the s a c r i f i c e of the transient pleasures of love and marriage. In James's f i c t i o n , at le a s t , the two realms of art and marriage are mutually exclusive. His a r t i s t s must devote themselves wholly to t h e i r work or see i t v i t i a t e d by the demands made on t h e i r time by t h e i r loved ones. His a r t i s t s must l i v e i n the r e a l world, but only to t h e i r sorrow are they ever of i t . Their task i s to transcend the banality of common l i f e , for imperishable beauty and l a s t i n g happiness e x i s t only i n the realm of ar t . There i s l i t t l e sense of achievement to be found i n the l i v e s of James's non-artists. His women, though often extra- ordinary i n t h e i r i n t e l l i g e n c e and v i v a c i t y , f a i l to trans- cend the unhappiness that James sees as t h e i r ultimate l o t in l i f e . Each starts out f u l l of hope and with a bright v i s i o n of the future which never comes to f r u i t i o n . Marriage i s the ultimate goal of a l l the young g i r l s i n James's f i c - t i o n ; or, at the very least, i t i s the goal of t h e i r scheming mammas. Yet the young g i r l i s either too c l o i s t e r e d or too exposed (depending on her soc i e t y ) , and taught l i t t l e that w i l l be of any value to her af t e r she becomes a married woman. Her education i s d e f i c i e n t i n that her expectations of marriage and l i f e are allowed to remain unpract i c a l l y romantic and i l l - d e f i n e d ; she i s not schooled i n the arts of su r v i v a l . -3- For some of James's women, the disillusionment process does not begin u n t i l a f t e r marriage. According to James there are a great many sources of disillusionment i n marri- age. Most commonly the wife i s u t t e r l y mistaken i n her evaluation of the kind of man she has married, as i s the case with Isabel Archer i n The P o r t r a i t of a Lady and Maggie Verver i n The Golden Bowl. Too, James i s preoccupied with the i r o n - clad aspect of the marriage contract, by the fact that i t i s regarded as an indissoluble union. I t i s i r o n i c that people who do divorce i n James's f i c t i o n are never presented as admirable types; yet people who should (l i k e Isabel Archer) waste t h e i r l i v e s and t h e i r unique personal q u a l i t i e s i n bondage. James thus watches his women vow to do the impossi- ble and then writhe i n the agony of keeping that promise. Nor do James's men f i n d l a s t i n g happiness i n marriage (or i n any other aspect of human endeavor, for that matter). However, because they are rarely the equals of James's l i v e l y s ensitive women, t h e i r f a i l u r e s do not dis t r e s s the reader to the same degree as those of the women. In other words, because James's men are less engaging characters, t h e i r mis- fortunes evoke less sympathy. For example, Prince Amerigo i n The Golden Bowl and G i l b e r t Osmond i n The P o r t r a i t of a Lady are hollow men. They are opportunists and gigolos whose chief motivation i s a desire for the f i n a n c i a l security and material luxury which marriage to a r i c h woman would seem to guarantee. Thus when the r i c h wives of Amerigo and Osmond -4- prove troublesome to them, the reader withholds sympathy which would be given to more admirable characters i n the same s i t u a t i o n . Yet the two men do i l l u s t r a t e James's per- ception that those who take advantage of others are themselves dealt a kind of poetic j u s t i c e . Another group of men whom James studies are represented by Christopher Newman and Adam Verver. Such r e t i r e d American businessmen try to compensate for the years they have spent in accumulating t h e i r fortunes by crowding into European excursions as much culture and immediate g r a t i f i c a t i o n as Yankee d o l l a r s can buy. Sometimes, with the gravest of con- sequences, they even try to buy love. James's attitude toward t h i s group may be seen to change over the years. Gallant Christopher Newman of The American (1877), a breezy son of democracy, i s doomed to heartbreak when he courts a French a r i s t o c r a t whose haughty family considers him gauche and i n f e r i o r . But by the end of his career, James i s in c l i n e d to regard the fa u l t s of the American businessman as i n f i n i t e l y more serious, as flaws not of manners but of morals. Adam Verver i s s i n i s t e r and manipulative i n The Golden Bowl (1904) and Abel Gaw i s almost a caricature of greed i n The Ivory Tower (written about 1910).''" Such men i l l u s t r a t e the f u t i l i t y of tryin g to buy happiness. As James saw i t , the only way to make sense of everyday experience was to remove oneself from i t , to transcend i t , to commit oneself wholly to the timeless, be a u t i f u l world of -5- art . Only then could one do what Henry St. George of "The Lesson of the Master" c a l l s "the great thing"; only then could one f u l f i l himself. James's a r t i s t - f i g u r e s are always attracted to the world of common experience, tempted to love •and to marry, but i f they cannot r e s i s t those sirens t h e i r talents perish. James's a r t i s t s are never wholly happy unless they are doing t h e i r best work, yet they can only produce t h e i r best work i n i s o l a t i o n from common human experience. -6- Chapter One Women i n the F i c t i o n James sees unhappiness as the l o t of woman i n contem- porary society largely because of the roles she i s required to play. James i s not a s o c i a l reformer; thus he observes and records these roles but has nothing to suggest by way of an alt e r n a t i v e . There i s , however, one idea basic to his perception of the roles women are expected to play i n society. This i s a plea that they w i l l not go b l i n d l y to t h e i r fate, that they w i l l become aware and thus possibly cheat t h e i r destiny. However, i t i s his observation that women are commonly d e f i c i e n t i n t h i s awareness. Yet th i s deficiency (whose consequences are so lamentable) could be remedied while the woman i s s t i l l a young g i r l , by the opening of her eyes to the r e a l i t i e s of what love and marriage involve, by her making a serious study of the examples she meets i n 2 society. (The "proper inexperience" James mentions i n the "Preface to The Awkward Age" as necessary to the young g i r l r efers to actual not i n t e l l e c t u a l adventures.) James concentrates much of his attention on the debut of the young g i r l , watching her dawning awareness of what society expects of her. He notes the d i f f e r e n t methods of educating her employed on the Continent, i n England, and i n -7- America. Each of these s o c i e t i e s g l o r i f i e s the married state as the only conceivable goal of every young lady; none i n s t i l l s into the young g i r l an adequate awareness of the narrowness of the l o t of the married woman. Pansy Osmond of The P o r t r a i t of a Lady and L i t t l e Aggie of The Awkward Age represent James's studies of the continental jeune f i l l e ; Nanda Brookenham of The Awkward Age and Biddy Dormer of The Tragic Muse i l l u s t r a t e the young English g i r l ; Daisy M i l l e r and J u l i a Bride demonstrate the c u l t u r a l state of the species i n America. While i t i s true that James i s c r i t i c a l of what he con- siders the often t r a g i c l i m i t a t i o n s which marriage imposes on women, and of the b l i t h e ignorance of them fostered i n the young g i r l , he opposes r a d i c a l feminism. This i s demon- strated i n The Bostonians, which i s a g a l l e r y of grotesques, of the per f e r v i d and wild-eyed types of humanity which may be depended upon to attach themselves to such a cause. The novel c l e a r l y shows that James considered the movement repul- sive and unnatural. Marriage looms as one of the most s i g n i f i c a n t subjects i n the f i c t i o n of Henry James. James never portrays women as happy i n marriage, though he does examine a great many var i e - t i e s of the i n s t i t u t i o n . In The P o r t r a i t of a Lady, for example, Amy, the Countess Gemini, i s bored with her provin- c i a l , a n t i - s o c i a l , and stupid husband and, leaving him alone i n Florence, amuses herself i n Rome whenever she can. Lydia -8- Touchett c a r r i e s t h i s system one step further and maintains a home separated from the one her husband occupies by the length of the continent of Europe. Only Isabel Archer s t r i v e s to maintain a conventional, t o t a l l y united r e l a t i o n - ship with her husband. I t i s her tragedy that he cannot share his l i f e with anyone, for his i s an hermetically- sealed egotism. Isabel's marriage induces i n her a constant state of despair, for she i s forever incurring the displeasure of the p e r f e c t i o n i s t martinet for whose love she yearns. 7. _i. When she discovers that t h e i r l i f e together i s based on l i e s of the gravest s i g n i f i c a n c e , her horror i s such that she b r i e f l y disobeys him. Ultimately, however, she returns to the blasted c i r c l e that i s her l i f e with Osmond, never again to escape. In The Golden Bowl Maggie Verver and Charlotte Stant each t r y unsuccessfully to ignore the implications of t h e i r married state. Maggie takes her husband for granted, and ignores him for hours on end while she enjoys her extremely close relationship with her father just as i f she had never married at a l l . Charlotte marries for money and s o c i a l con- venience and finds, for a time, that her seemingly vague and much older husband can be placated with small attentions, leaving her free to pursue a romantic rel a t i o n s h i p with another man. Charlotte i s never t r u l y happy, not even when she i s with her lover. She must constantly amuse him, must seem fri v o l o u s and charming and gay l e s t he t i r e of her. When Charlotte's husband moves to retrieve his straying wife i t i s with a kind of repressed but intense cruelty not to be encountered elsewhere i n the James canon. Thus the point i s made with the sharpest emphasis: marriage i s a trap for women; they are i n subjugation to t h e i r husbands (however rare and fine the woman, however stupid, lim i t e d , or cruel the man). By marrying, a woman signs away her i n d i v i d u a l i t y As observed above, James's f i c t i o n manifests a pre- occupation with the type of the young unmarried g i r l and her career. He finds inadequate or, worse, actually harmful a l l extant methods of educating her for her role i n l i f e as a married woman. On the question of educating the young female, James i s ultra-conventional; he i s not interested i n sending her to college or even to a "female academy." In 3 the "Preface to The Awkward Age" he considers three systems of education for the female young and endorses none of them: the exclusive, formal continental method produces the jeune f i l l e proper l i k e Pansy Osmond, but also (alas!) l i k e L i t t l e Aggie of The Awkward Age; the proudly inconsistent English system produces Nanda Brookenham and Biddy Dormer; the Ameri' can system revolves around the g i r l herself so that i n a l l things she has an i n f l a t e d opinion of her own importance l i k e Daisy M i l l e r and J u l i a Bride. In James's world a l l education worthy of the name takes place i n the salon. His int e r e s t i s experimental: how can a young g i r l be exposed to the improving example of the "good t a l k " available i n the -10- drawing rooms of the s o c i a l e l i t e without being corrupted by i t ? How can she learn about l i f e and learn to survive i n the s o c i a l jungle? The continental jeune f i l l e i s the one most consciously produced by her society; that i s , she i s the one of the three on whom the most formal i n s t r u c t i o n has been lavished. Pansy Osmond of The P o r t r a i t of a Lady and L i t t l e Aggie of The Awkward Age are two of James's most important p o r t r a i t s of her. James feels that the education of the jeune f i l l e , l i k e anything else, i s a matter of temperament; the young g i r l i n question w i l l either passively accept her i n s t r u c t i o n and conduct herself accordingly, or she w i l l merely pretend acquiescence, acquire the veneer and, with downcast eyes, employ the manner to get whatever she wants. James sees the continental method as most open to abuse and to perverse manipulation both of the g i r l and by the g i r l . James considers the continental system a double f a i l u r e . In Pansy Osmond James i l l u s t r a t e s how the system can be used for cruel manipulation of i t s hapless students. Pansy Osmond i s a poor-spirited, pathetic l i t t l e v i c t i m because she has been taught always to submit to the w i l l of others. Her father looms so large i n her world that the thought of d i s - obeying him i s completely foreign to her—even when her own marriage and future happiness are hanging i n the balance. Pansy's convent education and the i c y formality of her l i f e at home have rendered her excessively malleable. -11- At the other extreme i s L i t t l e Aggie of The Awkward Age who has subverted the system to serve her own purposes. She appears to be radiant, v i r g i n a l , u t t e r l y unworldly u n t i l she has secured her future by marrying a wealthy man. Then the convent-flower facade i s no longer necessary and the r e a l Aggie steps forward to romp, to tease, to f l i r t , to embark upon an a f f a i r with her husband's best f r i e n d — t o do, i n short, a l l those things which her convent education was to have ensured against. L i t t l e Aggie i s l i k e the Countess Gemini of The P o r t r a i t of a Lady who g a i l y declares, "Oh, the convents, the convents ! . . . Speak to me of the con- vents! You may learn anything there; I'm a convent-flower myself. I don't pretend to be good, but the nuns do. Don't 4 you see what I mean?" Aggie i s a hypocrite. In The P o r t r a i t of a Lady, for example, Pansy i s l i k e the flower for which she i s named—shy, gentle, fond of the shade, e a s i l y broken. She i s completely the product of her father's wishes and the convent's i n s t r u c t i o n . Her fondest hope i s to please, her favourite a c t i v i t y the s o c i a l ceremony of making tea. Crushing Pansy's innocent love of Edward Rosier i s easier and thus a lesser v i c t o r y than breaking Isabel's s p i r i t , but James shows how G i l b e r t Osmond none- theless savours his absolute authority over his daughter. Osmond explains to Isabel his sudden, a r b i t r a r y decision to banish Pansy to the convent: -12- "One's daughter should be fresh and f a i r ; she should be innocent and gentle. With the manners of the present time she i s l i a b l e to become so dusty, a l i t t l e dishevelled; she has knocked about too much. . . . Convents are very quiet, very convenient, very salutary. I l i k e to think of her there, i n the old garden, under the arcade, among those t r a n q u i l virtuous women. . . . The Catholics are very wise a f t e r a l l . The convent i s a great i n s t i t u t i o n ; i t corresponds to an ess e n t i a l need i n fami l i e s , i n society. It's a school of good manners; i t ' s a school of repose" (Portrait, I I , 347). Pansy's only i n s t i n c t i s to c l i n g where she senses benevo- lence and, perhaps, p i t y . Thus she cli n g s to Isabel. On s o c i a l occasions, as when Isabel i s duenna to Pansy at a b a l l , Isabel often feels that Pansy cli n g s too much, making them both appear r i d i c u l o u s . Pansy i s never present at "good" t a l k . Whenever the talk threatens to become "good", she i s dispatched to the garden to pick some flowers. I t i s a measure of Isabel's naivete' i n her s o c i a l m i l i e u that she once protested to the Countess Gemini (who was about to send Pansy to practise her piano lessons), "I would rather hear nothing that Pansy may not!" (Portrait, I I , 88). -13- Isabel's v i s i t to Pansy alone i n the v i l l a at Florence (Chapter Thirty) i s l i k e a "set piece" i n a drama. Pansy f i l l s her role as small chatelaine and entertains her guest i n her best imitation of the grown-up manner. From time to time her decorous speeches reveal glimpses of ideas which should have s t i r r e d Isabel's American conscience, things which should even have alarmed her. But Isabel was l u l l e d , charmed by t h i s c h i l d playing at being a woman. "How well the c h i l d has been taught, . . . how p r e t t i l y she has been directed and fashioned; and yet how simple, how natural, how innocent she has been kept" (Portrait, I I , 26). Isabel's f i n a l evaluation i s that Pansy i s "a blank page" with "only two or three small exquisite i n s t i n c t s : for knowing a frie n d , for avoiding a mistake, for taking care of an old toy or a new frock . . . her force would be a l l i n knowing when and where to c l i n g " (Portrait, I I , 26-27). Pansy's conversation reveals her utter dependence on her father. When Isabel advises Pansy to "be good" and give pleasure to her father the simple reply i s , "I think that's what I l i v e for" (Portrait, I I , 29). Isabel does not f i n d t h i s strange, does not see anything s i n i s t e r i n the fact that the c h i l d has been so d r i l l e d as to have no w i l l of her own. Pansy's conversation turns often to money: to how l i t t l e of i t Osmond has; to how expensive the convent school i s ; to how she thinks she i s n ' t "worth" what her father i s paying to keep her at the convent; to how i t w i l l probably be -14- something of a scramble to accumulate a dowry for her ("It costs so much to marry!" [ P o r t r a i t , I I , 2§ ). Isabel does not think these very o l d worries for a c h i l d of f i f t e e n . Further, Pansy regrets her own lack of academic or musical talents and worries about the propriety of her remarks to Isabel, "I don't l i k e to do anything that's not expected; i t looks as i f one had not been properly taught. I m y s e l f — I should never l i k e to be taken by surprise" (Portrait, I I , 28). None of thi s suggests to Isabel the extremely oppressive a i r i n which the c h i l d has been raised. She does not p i t y , but admires! In her diminutive attempt to do the honours of her father's home, Pansy demonstrates she has been well trained for the role she w i l l ultimately play i n society. I t i s the role with which James finds f a u l t i n her case, regretting that her upbringing has made her such an easy victim. Osmond means to s e l l her to the highest bidder, and Pansy has been schooled i n resignation, taught never to expect things from others. She w i l l obey a cruel or negligent husband as s e l f - l e s s l y as she obeys her father. She w i l l bend, not break; and while that i s a kind of s u r v i v a l , i t i s p i t i f u l never- theless. Her mutiny was b r i e f and mild; her wish to marry Edward Rosier instead of Lord Warburton, her father's candi- date, was borne down by Osmond's displeasure (Portrait, I I , 345). The incarceration i n the convent was so e f f e c t i v e that Pansy wants to return to the world on any terms her father -15- may choose to dictate. "I've thought a great deal . . . that I must never displease papa." On Isabel's noting that Pansy knew that before, the pathetic response i s , "Yes, but I know i t better. I ' l l do a n y t h i n g — I ' l l do anything" (Po r t r a i t , I I , 284). There can be l i t t l e doubt about where James stands with regard to the dark manipulations loosed on Pansy's harmless l i t t l e s p i r i t by her malevolent father, but he i s more q u a l i - f i e d i n his views of " L i t t l e Aggie" i n The Awkward Age. The whole question of the s o c i a l status of the young unmarried female i s discussed by Mrs. Brookenham and the Duchess over tea. The Duchess has the bringing up of her dead I t a l i a n husband's "unique niece," and i s making of her a jeune f i l l e on the continental model, insofar as that i s possible i n London. L i t t l e Aggie's London education i s of the narrowest. The Duchess, her guardian, i s cyn i c a l but consistent. She makes i t very clear to Mrs. Brook that her only intention i s to marry Aggie and to marry her well. She herself w i l l even approach the prospective husband about the match. She reproaches Mrs. Brook for not having sought Mitchy for her Nanda i n the same d i r e c t fashion: "I'd o f f e r mine to the son of a chimneysweep i f the p r i n c i p a l guarantees were there. . . . He has forty thousand a year, an excellent idea of how to take care of i t and a good d i s p o s i t i o n " (Awk. Age, p. 63). In the Duchess' view, extreme care must be taken to -16- ensure that the young g i r l i n question i s kept appealing for her prospective husband: "It's not t h e i r idea that the g i r l s they marry s h a l l already have been pitchforked—by t a l k and contacts and v i s i t s and newspapers and by the way the poor creatures rush about and a l l the extraordinary things they d o — q u i t e into everything" (Awk. Age, p. 57). Consequently Aggie i s i n the constant care of a governess, i s permitted by way of culture only "Mr. Garlick's class i n Modern Light L i t e r a t u r e " , and, on those infrequent occasions when Miss Merriman has a "day o f f " , Aggie i s taken around by the Duchess to pay a very few s o c i a l c a l l s . Whereas Pansy Osmond i s genuinely innocent and com- p l e t e l y unworldly, i t i s i m p l i c i t i n James's introduction of her that L i t t l e Aggie i s , perhaps, not what she appears. " L i t t l e Aggie presented, up and down, an arrangement of dress exactly i n the key of her age, her complexion, her emphasized v i r g i n i t y . . . her admirable t r a i n i n g appeared to hold her out to them a l l with precautionary f i n g e r - t i p s " (Awk. Age, p. 93). Pansy's post-marital s i t u a t i o n i s never discussed or speculated upon i n The P o r t r a i t of a Lady, and there i s l i t t l e thought given by anyone to her ever learning those things a maiden ought not to know. The Duchess takes such knowledge for granted on L i t t l e Aggie's behalf, balking only at the idea that Aggie should have any inklings before she i s safely married ("Don't understand, my own d a r l i n g — don't understand!" [Awk.. Age, p. 97j| ) . When, instead of Miss -17- Merriman, the Duchess herself has the onerous task of the di r e c t supervision of L i t t l e Aggie she i s never at ease l e s t the c h i l d hear inappropriate remarks or meet inappropriate people. Thus when the painted Carrie Donner unexpectedly enters Mrs. Brook's drawing room, the Duchess "quickly reached her kinsman with a smothered h i s s , an 'Edward dear, for God's sake take Aggie!'" (Awk. Age, p. 99). The Duchess' scheme i s a spectacular f a i l u r e . Once Aggie i s safely married to Mitchy she begins her true career, and with her husband's close f r i e n d Petherton (who was also the Duchess" own lov e r ) . Mrs. Brook describes t h e i r case to Vanderbank: "I think him quite capable of considering, with a magnificent insolence of selfishness, that what Mitchy has most done w i l l have been to make Aggie accessible i n a way t h a t — f o r decency and delicacy of course, things on which Petherton highly prides h i m s e l f — s h e could naturally not be as a g i r l . Her marriage has s i m p l i f i e d i t " (Awk. Age, p. 442). Harold Brookenham i s equally blunt. The subject i s Aggie's remarkable efflorescence a scant ten weeks af t e r her marriage: "But then don't they always—I mean when they're l i k e Aggie and they once get loose—go at a pace? That's what I want to know. I don't suppose mother did, nor Tishy, nor the Duchess . . . but -18- mother and Tishy and the Duchess, i t s t r i k e s me, must either have been of that school that knew, don't you know? a deuce of a deal before, or of the type that takes i t a l l more qui e t l y a f t e r " (Awk. Age, p. 427). The Duchess' scheme has f a i l e d , and so far from being a "femme charmante" Aggie i s , i n f a c t , a scandal. Nanda p i t i e s and t r i e s to excuse her: "Aggie's only t r y i n g to f i n d out . . . what sort of person she i s . How can she ever have known? I t was c a r e f u l l y , elaborately hidden from h e r — kept so obscure that she could make out nothing. . . . You see when there has been nothing before, i t a l l has to come with a rush" (Awk. Age, pp. 528-29). Nanda i s being overly charitable and furthermore Aggie i s very much on her conscience, for Nanda was the one who persuaded Mitchy to marry Aggie i n the f i r s t place. Aggie has run wild and done so i n spite of her c a r e f u l tending by the Duchess. I t seems reasonable to assume that the narrow- ness of her education i s at f a u l t , that the very things which were so ostentaciously whisked out of sight as unsuit- able were the things that she (l i k e any healthy, curious child) most longed to see. Yet Pansy Osmond, too, was often bundled unceremoniously out of the room when conversation took an i n d e l i c a t e turn, and Pansy never wondered at anything i n her entire l i f e . However Pansy did not have a guardian l i k e Petherton who may well have used his c o n f i d e n t i a l status -19- to implant impure ideas i n Aggie's chaste l i t t l e mind (the Watch and Ward theme). But most of the c r e d i t for her way- ward career must go to Aggie he r s e l f . Ten weeks i s too short a time to plausibly change from convent flower to boisterous coquette, so the coquette must have been dormant i n her long before. The L i t t l e Aggie one meets as the novel begins i s thus a creature of presented surfaces and studied appearances, and very l i t t l e representative of the r e a l g i r l within. James sees the continental system as a f a i l u r e because i t does not prepare the g i r l for marriage. I t gives her a veneer of innocence which may (as i n Pansy's case) cover woe- f u l ignorance and helplessness, or (as i n Aggie's case) become i t s e l f a charm to barter on the marriage market. In any case, the continental method merely escorts the g i r l to the threshold of marriage. Its rules which exclude her from the sophisticated discussions of her elders are at f a u l t . One cannot imagine Pansy's ever holding her own i n a salon (which i s sure to be her milieu a f t e r marriage). She w i l l seem an i n s i p i d and spineless f o o l . Her husband w i l l t i r e of her and she w i l l not even know herself betrayed. Pansy i s the perfect victim. The English system, the second method of educating the young g i r l considered by James i n the "Preface to The Awkward • Age" does not require the exclusion of the young g i r l from the salon, the arena of s o c i a l encounters. The English sys- tem, indeed, does not s p e c i f i c a l l y require anything of -20- anybody. James's chief c r i t i c i s m of the English system of educating the young g i r l i s that i t i s incoherent and hetero- genous. These are i t s c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s because "the English grand propriety, for every case i t should i n fairness be said of just being English" ("Preface to Awk. Age", p. x - x i ) . James means by t h i s that the idea of formulated rules seems foreign, unnecessary, d i s t a s t e f u l . But because there are so few recognized rules the English g i r l s are l e f t to con- t r i v e t h e i r own s o c i a l codes. The Awkward Age i s based on the awkward s i t u a t i o n regard- ing the salon debut of Nanda Brookenham. She i s at the awk- ward age i n that, at eighteen, she should properly be receiv- ing guests i n her mother's drawing room but Mrs. Brook does not want her there. The Duchess sees no d i f f i c u l t y : "Why i s n ' t i t as p l a i n as a p i k e s t a f f that the thing to do with Nanda i s simply to marry h e r — and to marry her soon? That's the great t h i n g — do i t while you can. i f you don't want her down- s t a i r s — a t which, l e t me say, I don't i n the l e a s t wonder—your remedy i s to take the r i g h t alterna- t i v e " (Awk. Age, p. 60). The ostensible reason f o r Nanda's exclusion i s that the free t a l k of Mrs. Brook's salon would be compromised by Nanda's 5 maiden presence, and that the most i n t e r e s t i n g subjects for mind has never conceived of but one -21- discussion would be thus rendered impossible. Mrs. Brook's actual reason i s that she fears Nanda as a r i v a l for the attention of her lover, Vanderbank. The attempt to marry Nanda and thus remove her from competition i s Mrs. Brook's chief motive for the rest of the novel. (Since the Duchess 1 plan was to marry Aggie as a femme charmante she can be said to have achieved only par- t i a l success.) Nanda loves Vanderbank, but he cannot see his way clear to marry her—even to claim the very substantial dowry with which Longdon bribes him. Mitchy loves Nanda but she does not return his a f f e c t i o n . Thus only Mr. Longdon i s l e f t , and he i s the one who rescues Nanda from her embarrass- ment, s p i r i t s her away to his secluded country estate and generally saves everyone's face. That Nanda has e f f e c t u a l l y been sold to the highest bidder seems to appall no-one but Henry James. Longdon's l o v e r - l i k e trepidation as he awaits Nanda's f i n a l "answer", and Mitchy's jokes about t h e i r elope- ment are inappropriate, unnatural and disturbing (given the context of the s i t u a t i o n ) . Nanda has been disposed of and Mrs. Brook has won. Nanda goes with Longdon largely out of despair. I f she cannot have the man she loves she i s i n d i f f e r e n t as to how she spends the rest of her l i f e . Beccles w i l l do quite as well as a nunnery. Her l a s t gesture toward her mother (who i s n ' t worth i t ) i s u t t e r l y pathetic. Nanda t r i e s to r e b u i l d Mrs. Brook's salon, her mother's only interest, by urging -22- Vanderbank to make more frequent v i s i t s . I t i s a wholly magnanimous gesture.^ Insofar as Nanda i s manipulative i n marrying Mitchy to Aggie she pays dearly i n g r i e f and horror at his fate and her part i n i t . Thus, throughout the novel Nanda i s sincere, magnanimous, altogether superior to her milieu. James's p o r t r a i t of Nanda Brookenham shows how the young English g i r l i s l e f t to puzzle out her own moral code i n a world of shoddy pretences. Nanda triumphs morally, but i s p i t i f u l l y unsuccessful at achieving her p a r t i c u l a r per- sonal desires. She i s t e c h n i c a l l y excluded from her mother's salon, but learns about l i f e from Tishy Grendon, an unhappily married friend; from Carrie Donner ("the other woman" i n a shoddy a f f a i r ) , and from various other intimates of her mother's c i r c l e . Nanda even reads a naughty French novel (the subject of an elaborate b i t of "business" i n the novel ^Awk. Age, pp. 430-34] ). She walks unscathed through a l l these things. I t i s as temperamentally impossible for her to become a world-weary cynic l i k e her mother ("Mrs. Brooken- ham' s supreme r e b e l l i o n against fate was just to show with the l a s t frankness how much she was bored" £Awk. Age, p. 43^) as to become a coquette l i k e L i t t l e Aggie. Since those extremes s i g n i f y success i n her narrow c i r c l e she consents to Longdon's removal of her from that c i r c l e . Biddy Dormer of The Tragic Muse i s another young English g i r l whose debut, exposure and education are, l i k e Nanda's, -23- very much a subject of general i n t e r e s t to others. In Biddy's case James's focus i s no longer on moral s u p e r i o r i t y but on the "incoherence" of the English system i t s e l f . Biddy Dormer i s a very ordinary g i r l , not at a l l Nanda Brookenham's match i n i n t e l l i g e n c e , perception, or moral candor. Through- out the novel Biddy's mother, brother, and friends make a great issue of protecting her from scenes and people they consider improper. Thus she i s not allowed to attend the Theatre Franc^ais and her mother also finds objectionable the nude statuary and paintings one encounters i n Paris g a l l e r i e s . However, on one occasion Biddy i s permitted to attend a par- t i c u l a r performance at the Theatre Francais when her escort i s Peter Sherringham, the man her mother wants her to marry. Such a turnabout c e r t a i n l y manifests English "incoherence" (however i n t e l l i g i b l e on the p r a c t i c a l l e v e l ) . Furthermore, Biddy i s subjected to humiliating instant banishment when anyone her mother considers improper enters a room i n which she also happens to be. This censorship of Biddy's experi- ence and acquaintance i s haphazard and ar b i t r a r y . Her s o c i a l position i s one of extreme impotence. Though r e s t r i c t e d on a l l sides by admonitions l i k e those made to a c h i l d , Biddy t r i e s to r e s i s t the s t u l t i f y i n g con- diti o n s of her l i f e , and t r i e s , above a l l , to appear to have interests other than that paramount one—marriage to Peter Sherringham—she c l e a r l y has. Biddy dabbles i n serious sub- jects l i k e a r t and feminism, and i s given to harangues. She wants to appear a serious i n t e l l i g e n t woman, es p e c i a l l y to Peter Sherringham, for whom she suffers unrequited love, yet Biddy's i n t e r e s t i n art and feminism i s c l e a r l y founded on vanity. Her work i n her brother's studio i s a means of passing the time and an escape from the tension of her mother's company. Biddy expresses aesthetic opinions that are admirable per se, but she expresses them with inappro- p r i a t e vehemence and to an unsympathetic audience. The . e f f e c t of the harangue i s to diminish her as a sensible per- son at the same time as i t e l i c i t s from the reader a few grains of p i t y for her. No-one takes Biddy seriously, but i t i s evident that nobody could. She i s nearly incoherent, not because of righteous indignation or even fervent convic- t i o n , but because of repressed rage that Peter i s so imper- vious to her charm. With very l i t t l e provocation she explodes: "Don't you think one can do as much good by paint- ing great works of art as b y — a s by what papa used to do? JHer l a t e papa was a p o l i t i c i a n I) Don't you think art's necessary to the happiness, to the greatness of a people? Don't you think i t ' s manly and honourable? Do you think a passion for i t ' s a thing to be ashamed of? Don't you think the a r t i s t --the conscientious, the serious o n e — i s as d i s t i n - 7 guished a member of society as anyone else?" -25- The response she e l i c i t s i s predictable: Peter and Nick looked at each other and laughed at the way she had got up her subject (Muse, I I , 288) . Another of Biddy's harangues purportedly concerns feminisn (Muse, I I , 293r94). She pretends to have her own opinions, but i t i s a l l an excuse to draw Peter out on the subject of Miriam Rooth. In t h i s exchange Biddy i s i r r i t a - ble and coy by turns and she proves her i n s i n c e r i t y at i t s conclusion. She i s apparently indignant when she says: "That's the kind of thing you say to keep us quiet." "Dear Biddy, you see how well we succeed'" To which she r e p l i e d by asking i r r e l e v a n t l y f "Why i s i t so necessary for you to go to the theatre to-night i f Miss Rooth doesn't want you to go?" (Muse, I I , 294). Biddy does not mind or cannot help being so transparent in her lament. She has never been t o l d how to disguise her love. In a society where marrying well i s everyone's s o c i a l goal, she i s too d i r e c t i n her wooing of the man she wants. She seems a boring l i t t l e f o o l to the reader throughout, but ultimately she achieves her object. She marries Peter Sher- ringham and becomes the perfect diplomat's wife. Her tenacity i s rewarded. She knows herself to be Peter's second choice, -26- but i s as p r a c t i c a l a g i r l as she i s dog-like i n her devo- t i o n . Biddy does not capture Peter's fancy; she wears down his resistance. Hers i s a p r a c t i c a l v i c t o r y but c e r t a i n l y not a sentimental one. Neither Biddy nor Nanda finds happiness as she had o r i g i n a l l y sought i t . Biddy marries the man she loves while he i s (more or less) on the rebound. Her career as his wife i n the diplomatic corps w i l l be dry, o f f i c i a l , unexciting, and she w i l l always know that he loves another woman more than he does her. Nanda does not marry at a l l , for she can- not lower her standard from Vanderbank (her conception of an i d e a l man) to a lesser mortal. Since to be an unmarried g i r l i n the thick of London's s o c i a l e l i t e i s unthinkable, she r e t i r e s to the serenity of Mr. Longdon's Surrey estate. Biddy's p r a c t i c a l v i c t o r y tastes of bitterness; Nanda's moral vict o r y brings her l i t t l e comfort. English society recog- nizes no female achievement other than that of a " b r i l l i a n t " marriage. Biddy obtains hers at the s a c r i f i c e of her roman- t i c i l l u s i o n s . Judged by that cold standard of the " b r i l - l i a n t " match, Nanda i s a t o t a l f a i l u r e . Of the education of the American g i r l James had a great deal to s a y — a l l of i t disapproving. His disapproval of her i s of a piece with his disapproval of America. He could not praise a society so b l i n d l y consecrated to the democratic i d e a l which he saw as reducing everything to the l e v e l of the banal: -27- S o c i a l , c i v i l , conversational d i s c i p l i n e consists i n having to recognize knowledge and competence and authority, accomplishments experience and "importance", greater than one's own; and i t i s in a bad way, therefore, obviously, i n commu- n i t i e s i n which i t i s so important to be a chat- te r i n g l i t t l e g i r l — b e f o r e becoming, by the same token and as for the highest f l i g h t , a " s o c i a l l e a d e r " — t h a t every measure of everything gives . 8 way to i t . The "chattering l i t t l e g i r l " who thinks herself of such cos- mic importance i s q u i n t e s s e n t i a l l y represented i n "Daisy M i l l e r " and " J u l i a Bride", which James meant to be con- 9 sidered as companion studies. Despite Buitenhuis' a r t i c l e , despite James's own comments quoted by Buitenhuis and his disclaimers about Daisy's keynote "innocence" i n his reply to Mrs. Lynn L i n t o n , 1 0 the two g i r l s have more s i m i l a r i t i e s than differences. Daisy i s quite as much a "queen" i n 1878 as the f l i g h t y l i t t l e f l i r t s James deprecates i n "The Manners of American Women" (1907). She believes the world revolves around her and that i t i s her duty to captivate every man she meets. She has not been engaged s i x times, nor even once—but such would have been her career had she remained i n America and l i v e d to be as old as J u l i a Bride, for Daisy i s as headstrong and as u t t e r l y bereft of parental guidance as the older J u l i a . Daisy pouts when Winterbourne does not -28- dance attendance on her i n the fashion of the gallant boys back home. She i s i d l e , capricious, vain. She appears an appealing figure largely by default, because a l l the other characters i n the story are objectionable. One makes excuses for her as i f she were a r e a l person, as, "Well, for a g i r l with such an impossible family! . . . " The conventional old cats of Rome, wintry Winterbourne himself, the upstart courier, Eugenio; the ambiguous l i t t l e Roman, Gi o v a n e l l i of the beauteous moustaches--all of these throw Daisy's a i r y charm into higher r e l i e f . In a sense the reader more or less suspends his moral judgment of Daisy i n favour of his aesthetic sense, and takes Daisy on t r u s t , the ultimate judgment of the moral case being so strenuously undertaken by Winterbourne and the others. It i s true that, as Buitenhuis and James both intimate, the moral atmosphere of " J u l i a Bride" i s very murky, indeed, but that of "Daisy M i l l e r " i s very ugly too. If the thing that matters i n J u l i a Bride's society i s marrying money and s o c i a l climbing, i n Daisy M i l l e r ' s Rome the thing that mat- ters i s appearing innocent. One remembers with distaste the c y n i c a l , hopeful attitude Winterbourne displays while d i s - cussing the proposed excursion to the Castle of C h i l l o n , his indolent manner of waiting for Daisy to indicate she was interested i n meeting a fate worse than death; waiting for what Prince Amerigo of The Golden Bowl would c a l l , "the predestined phenomenon, the thing always as certain as ' ' -29 sunrise . . • the doing by the woman of the thing that gave her away. She did i t , ever, i n e v i t a b l y , i n f a l l i b l y — s h e couldn't possibly not do i t . I t was her nature, i t was her l i f e , and the man could always expect i t without l i f t i n g a ..11 finger. Daisy does not make the sign, but she cavorts i n t h i s atmosphere of sexual tension, much of i t of her own making. James t r i e s to make i t something of a donnde that she i s innocent, but by t h i s he merely means she i s a v i r g i n . Daisy may well be innocent of the ultimate intention--a tease always i s — b u t she must be aware of and apparently r e l i s h e s the turbulence she i s unleashing i n Winterbourne. She wields her power carelessly and s e l f i s h l y , b e l i e v i n g those to be the prerogatives of the American g i r l . Daisy does not de l i v e r , but she promises with her eyes. There i s a moral c u l p a b i l i t y i n that. There i s also great aesthetic charm. She i s pretty, graceful, f r e e — f l i t t i n g here and there according to whim. Buitenhuis quotes Annette Kar's opinion that Daisy "stood for a p r i n c i p l e not e a s i l y formulated: i n v i o l a b l e 12 innocence compounded with i n s t i n c t i v e moral judgment," and elaborates: "thi s protects her with a sh i e l d almost as 13 strong as the chastity of the Lady i n Milton's Comus." Daisy does not have any judgment at a l l , nor any sh i e l d . Daisy i s w i l l f u l and Daisy i s lucky (insofar as i t can be considered lucky to lose not her v i r g i n i t y but merely her -30- l i f e ) . Her story l i e s not i n the fact that she was pro- tected, but i n i t s converse—that she was so p i t i f u l l y exposed. "Daisy M i l l e r " c a r r i e s (along with other, more commendable l i t e r a r y values) a warning, a moral i n the t i r e - some bad-little-boy-who-disobeyed-his-parents-and-got-eaten- by-the-wolf genre. Daisy's death i s of a piece with the avowed "poetry" James put into his p o r t r a i t of her; nothing that b e a u t i f u l can l a s t . Daisy ostensibly dies of Roman fever, but her w i l l to l i v e was destroyed by Winterbourne's i c y judgment of her. Such are the l i t e r a l reasons for her death, but the poetic ones are even more s i g n i f i c a n t . Daisy had to die or she would have changed, would have grown older, would have ̂ l o s t her lacy charm, would have become, i n f a c t , what Win- terbourne thought she was—damaged merchandise. I f Daisy :-had not died she would have become J u l i a Bride. There was nothing to arrest her headlong career, nothing could stop her but death. Thus James removed her opportunity, closed his l i t t l e masterpiece, froze Daisy i n an attitude of eternal grace. " J u l i a Bride" i s a comedy. The reader strongly suspects from the f i r s t that v a l i a n t J u l i a w i l l f a i l to dupe her po t e n t i a l seventh fiance', the s o c i a l l y prominent B a s i l French, but applauds her i n t r e p i d attempt. J u l i a Bride's story i s as gossipy, as sordid as that of Selina Berrington of "A London L i f e " (another American g i r l gone astray); but -31- the reader breathes easier that there i s , i n J u l i a ' s case, no h y s t e r i c a l Laura Wing to narrate i t . Thus the t a l e remains a comedy. Peter Buitenhuis' treatment of " J u l i a Bride" i s quite valuable. He i s above a l l correct i n seeing i n J u l i a "a 14 degree of s e l f knowledge" to which Daisy never attains or even aspires. Daisy never learns that she i s at f a u l t and that she i s the hapless product of a careless upbringing. She dies bewildered and heartbroken. J u l i a Bride, however, must l i v e on to rue her mistakes. Buitenhuis summarizes: Most of the characters i n " J u l i a Bride" are the natural products of a society that takes a sys- tem of "cheap and easy divorce" f o r granted. . . . J u l i a , having a mother with one impending and two past divorces to her c r e d i t , had naturally gone i n for "the young speculative exchange of intimate vows" as James c a l l e d i t . Her p l i g h t , l i k e that of Daisy M i l l e r , was the r e s u l t of ignorance. J u l i a ' s half-dozen engagements and disengagements were of no more account to her than Daisy's numer- ous t r y s t s with G i o v a n e l l i i n Rome. . . . Daisy, brought up l i k e J u l i a i n an extremely haphazard manner, simply takes for granted "the old American freedom" of association with the opposite sex. . . . J u l i a , i n contrast, comes to the conclusion that -32- "the disgusting, the humiliating thing" was that her mother had allowed her to assume that "her own incredibly allowed, her own insanely fos- tered f r i v o l i t y " had been the natural career for a young g i r l . She has to struggle to cut her- s e l f o f f from t h i s career by means of deceit and . . . 15 intrigue. J u l i a ' s theory that the r i g h t combination of l i e s can win her the man she loves i s the basis of the story's humour (albeit of a dark hue). Her determination gives r i s e to h i l a r i o u s exchanges l i k e that with Murray Brush: "You'll l i e for me l i k e a gentleman?" "As far as that goes t i l l I'm black i n the f a c e . " 1 6 S i m i l a r l y when J u l i a i s bewailing the i n t r i c a c i e s of her pre- dicament to Mr. Pitman she explains how only her s i x ex- fiance's can save her f a i r name and that they must approach B a s i l French on her behalf for she cannot do so h e r s e l f : "Qui s'excuse s'accuse, don't they say?—so that do you see me breaking out to him, unprovoked, with four or f i v e what-do-you-call-'ems, the things mother used to have to prove i n Court, a set of neat l i t t l e ' a l i b i s ' i n a row? How can I get hold -33- of so many precious gentlemen, to turn them on? 17 How can they want everything fished up?" To t h i s the "fine old American freedom" has led her, to the necessity of producing " a l i b i s " as her mother did i n her various divorce actions; and, as her mother's a l i b i s were l i e s , so J u l i a ' s w i l l be. James i s b a s i c a l l y stern i n his denunciation of th i s society of "cheap and easy divorce", but his treatment i n " J u l i a Bride" i s f a r c i c a l . Thus he deplores the s o c i a l s i t u a t i o n but almost admires J u l i a ' s r e s i l i a n c e and resourcefulness as she meets her c r i s i s . How- 18 ever, J u l i a does not r e a l l y matter to James. She i s not a g i r l l i k e Nanda, about whom he can seriously care. Thus when, at the story's end, she admits defeat, i t i s with "a long lonely moan", but one knows that she w i l l r i s e to f i g h t again. J u l i a ' s v i s i o n of the scramble of s o c i a l climbing i n which she was engaged w i l l not r a d i c a l l y change her way of l i f e . She w i l l go on much as she always has, but the next time she w i l l r e a l i s t i c a l l y set her sights a l i t t l e lower than the B a s i l Frenches of t h i s world. J u l i a Bride i s merely the most outrageous p o r t r a i t i n James's ga l l e r y of the possible careers of the young g i r l . In his considerations of the female young of the continent, of England, and of America, there i s a unifying thread of f r u s t r a t i o n , defeat, unpreparedness, ignorance. Each of the g i r l s considered above—Pansy Osmond, L i t t l e Aggie, Nanda -34- Brookenham, Biddy Dormer, Daisy M i l l e r and J u l i a B r i d e — i s under excruciating pressure to marry, to seize the nearest man and the largest fortune. The implication of each society i s that only then w i l l she be happy, serene, f u l - f i l l e d . But James does not share these s o c i e t i e s ' enthusiastic endorsations of marriage. His studies of marriage show that he viewed i t with extreme suspicion, yet he i s not a femi- n i s t . His f i c t i o n demonstrates that he has no patience with nor admiration for the woman who steadfastly repudiates her t r a d i t i o n a l r o l e . In The P o r t r a i t of a Lady, for example, Henrietta Stackpole's career and her opinions on i t are exhibited for th e i r humour alone. She i s a "female interviewer . . . a reporter i n petticoats", blunt and p r o v i n c i a l . Her good q u a l i t i e s are not r e p o r t o r i a l but womanly ones: she i s a thoroughly kind and l o y a l f r i e n d to Isabel. Late i n the novel Henrietta announces her engagement and retirement. Isabel i s surprised and disconcerted, r e f l e c t i n g : " I t was a disappointment to f i n d [Henrietta] had personal suscepti- b i l i t i e s , that she was subject to common passions, and that her intimacy with Mr. Bantling had not been completely o r i g i - nal. There was a want of o r i g i n a l i t y i n her marrying him— there was even a kind of st u p i d i t y " (Portrait, I I , 400). Isabel's f a u l t has always been i n tryi n g to see ideals per- s o n i f i e d . Here too, James i s saying, she errs. For James, -35- Henrietta's fate i s the only l o g i c a l , desirable one for any woman. James's disapproval of m i l i t a n t feminism i s expressed i n The Bostonians. In i t the stereotyped characters elo- quently reveal James's views of the movement. There are two women i n The Bostonians who have done or who are doing r e a l work to advance the cause of women's l i b e r a t i o n — M i s s Birdseye and Dr. Mary Prance—but James does not make them a t t r a c t i v e figures. The f i r s t of these, Miss Birdseye, i s nearly eighty and i n f a i l i n g health. She i s untidy, colour- 19 le s s , sexless, and unfocussed i n her enthusiasms. She can no longer see her way c l e a r l y through the mass of trashy cul t s that are hangers-on to the s u f f r a g i s t movement. James notes: "There was a genius for Miss Birdseye i n every bush. Selah Tarrant had effected wonderful cures; 20 she knew so many p e o p l e — i f they would only try him." Miss Birdseye has f a i t h i n Verena as a great leader of the future and believes that, i n her commerce with B a s i l Ransom, Verena i s converting the South! (Bostonians, p. 397). She i s a r e l i c of the heroic a b o l i t i o n i s t past, i t i s true, but when she dies a l l heroism i n the novel dies with her. B a s i l t e l l s her as she i s dying, "I s h a l l remember you as an example of what women are capable of" (Bostonians, p. 399). It i s further recorded that "he had no subsequent compunc- tions for the speech, for he thought poor Miss Birdseye, for a l l her absence of p r o f i l e , e s s e n t i a l l y feminine" (Bostonians, -36- p. 399). By t h i s Ransom merely means she has given away a l l she has, s a c r i f i c e d and scrimped and suffered. In other words, she has done within the a b o l i t i o n i s t and women's movements what Ransom expects women to do everywhere; she has s e l f l e s s l y yielded u n t i l there i s nothing l e f t . Miss Birdseye's physician, Dr. Mary Prance, has con- siderably more v i t a l i t y , but she i s so single-minded i n her pursuit of s c i e n t i f i c knowledge that she has jettisoned any 21 feminine t r a i t s : "She looked l i k e a boy, and not even l i k e a good boy. I t was evident that i f she had been a boy, she would have 'cut' school, to t r y private experiments i n mechanics or to make researches i n natural history. I t was true that i f she had been a boy she would have borne some r e l a t i o n to a g i r l , whereas Dr. Prance appeared to bear none whatever" (Bostonians, p. 41). Her manner i s brusque and i r o n i c , and she i s impatient when interrupted i n her research. She thinks the women's movement r i d i c u l o u s , but reveres" Miss Birdseye to the extent that she gives up a f u l l month at her o f f i c e to nurse the old lady i n her f i n a l i l l n e s s at Mar- mion, a watering-place. Dr. Prance spends some time there f i s h i n g with B a s i l Ransom. She i s e n t i r e l y s e l f - s u f f i c i e n t and takes "an i r o n i c a l view of almost any kind of courtship", and e s p e c i a l l y of Verena's and Ba s i l ' s peculiar one, obliged as they are to take t h e i r r u r a l walks away from Olive's house. B a s i l saw that Dr. Prance "didn't wonder women were such featherheads, so long as, whatever b r i t t l e f o l l i e s they -37- c u l t i v a t e d , they could get men to come and s i t on fences for them" (Bostonians, p. 358). The nominal leader of the movement, Mrs. Farrinder, the eminent evangelist of feminism, i s , f i r s t of a l l , an exploiter. She i s so successful, one soon r e a l i z e s , because she i s rea d i l y adaptable. She immediately recognizes the persuasive power latent i n Verena and t r i e s to annex her for the benefit of her organization. S i m i l a r l y she calculates how Olive Chancellor can be induced to draw to the meetings her s o c i a l peers, the aristocracy of Boston. It i s one of James's heavier ir o n i e s that the foremost national spokes- man for the l i b e r a t i o n of women from centuries of oppression by men i s herself so absorbed i n the p o l i t i c s of power. Nor are the two most important women i n the novel dependable, respectable c a r r i e r s of the banner. Verena Tar- rant's i n s p i r a t i o n a l harangues are almost ludicrous but they move the masses. Verena 1s appeal, however, i s to anything but the i n t e l l e c t . She i s b e a u t i f u l , with masses of red hair, an h i s t r i o n i c manner, and an amazing a b i l i t y to take herself seriously. She i s considered a be a u t i f u l l i t t l e f o o l by a clique of Harvard boys who beg her to give an address at t h e i r college and assure her she would make instant converts. After a pleasant s o c i a l c a l l at the rooms of one of these wags, Mr. Burrage, Verena dreamily elabo- rates on her state of mind: -38- " I t would be very nice to do that always— just to take men as they are, and not have to think about t h e i r badness. I t would be very nice not to have so many questions, but to think they were a l l comfortably answered, so that one could s i t there on an old Spanish leather chair, with the curtains drawn and keeping out the cold, the darkness, a l l the big t e r r i b l e , cruel w o r l d — s i t there and l i s - ten forever to Schubert and Mendelssohn. They didn't care anything about female suffrage! And I didn't f e e l the want of a vote to-day at a l l , did you?" (Bostonians, p. 155). James saw that women i n his society i n e v i t a b l y reverted to t h i s state; they were graceful, passive, unthreatening, sheltered, interested i n the arts i n a desultory fashion. The passage i s also an extremely incongruous and amusing one when uttered by a g i r l who i s allegedly a formidable worker for female emancipation. James's message i s c l e a r : Verena's i n c l i n a t i o n s , her regret at having to "think about [men's] badness" are strong and natural and w i l l untimately overwhelm any temporary deviation from her destined b i o l o g i - c a l course. Her i n t e l l e c t cannot for long subjugate her desires. Olive Chancellor i s the only devout feminist whose depths are sounded i n the novel. She has a strong i n t e l l e c t — -39- much stronger than that of the alleged hero, for example. But Olive's stance with regard to feminism i s not i n t e l l e c - t u a l , but emotional: Olive i s a latent lesbian and an inveterate man-hater. Thus James i d e o l o g i c a l l y cuts the ground out from under her. Furthermore, Olive expends her energies not i n working for the movement but i n t r y i n g to e n t h r a l l the credulous Verena. Olive's introspections, while p a i n f u l , are d e f i c i e n t i n that illumination that generally characterizes those of James's other protagonists. Since she does not know herse l f , how can she know anything else? Thus James disposes of a movement that he found repugnant, unnatural, but not, apparently, threatening. He seems to be saying that the ladies (God bless them!) are too sensible to take seriously the rhetoric of a movement that i s so patently absurd. Marriage i s the only career James seriously considers for his women characters, and he anatomizes many a marriage i n the course of his f i c t i o n . I t i s clear that marriage i s , to him, the most s i g n i f i c a n t and absorbing rel a t i o n s h i p that can e x i s t between two people. Many of his characters express t h e i r conceptions of what i t means to be married i n the most exalted and i d e a l i s t i c terms. Miriam Rooth explains to Peter Sherringham, "I must t e l l you that i n the matter of what we can do for each other I have a tremendously high i d e a l . I go i n for the closeness of union, for i d e n t i t y of i n t e r e s t . A true marriage, as they c a l l i t , must do one a l o t of good" -40- (Muse, I I , 354). Isabel Osmond, i n her v i g i l before the dying f i r e r e f l e c t s on her bright, early f a i t h , "She had too many ideas for herself; but that was just what one married f o r , to share them with someone else" (Portrait, I I , 195). These are a l l admirable sentiments, but the r e a l i - t i e s of marriage i n James's f i c t i o n are quite another thing altogether. James seems incapable of portraying a happy marriage. Perhaps he had never seen one; perhaps he believed them as rare as the unicorn. James subjected the i n s t i t u t i o n of marriage to his closest scrutiny i n The P o r t r a i t of a Lady and The Golden Bowl, novels r i c h i n examples of the d i f f e r e n t arrangements that can be subsumed under that t i t l e . In The P o r t r a i t of a Lady James examines the i n s t i t u t i o n of marriage at some length. A l l his characters, at one time or another, take the opportunity to express themselves on the subject. James also portrays three marriages i n con- siderable d e t a i l : those of the Countess Gemini, Lydia Touchett, and Isabel Osmond. Amy, the Countess Gemini, fr e e l y admits to being a scatterbrain, and professes to take nothing s e r i o u s l y — l e a s t of a l l her marriage vows. Isabel i s our judge i n the novel, and "Isabel would as soon have thought of despising her as of passing a moral judgment on a grasshopper" (Portrait, I I , 225). To the Countess, marri- age i s a grim thing, an "awful . . . s t e e l trap" (Portrait, I I , 87), but i n practice she manages to make l i g h t enough -41- of i t . Amy longs to l i v e i n Rome, to wear pretty clothes, . to be greatly admired by a great many men. Her husband i n s i s t s i n l i v i n g i n Florence, and controls Amy to some degree by severely l i m i t i n g her funds. He i s a lecherous f o o l , unlucky at cards, and i l l i t e r a t e into the bargain. The Countess i s a frivolous and s e l f i s h woman, reputed to have had " f i f t e e n lovers,.'1 Her governing p r i n c i p l e i n marriage seems to be that of revenge; she takes care to give her husband as much reason to complain of her as he has given her. Amy's attitude toward most subjects i s i r r e v e r - ent, and "conventional" only i n the most cy n i c a l sense of the term, i n that she tends to believe the worst of everyone and sees scandal even where i t does not e x i s t . Amy's ideas about marriage as i t exists i n contemporary society are much l i k e those of her brother. They take ugly things for granted i n a chic, sophisticated manner that makes Isabel's s p i r i t cry out i n despair and disillusionment, "Did a l l women have lovers? Did they a l l l i e and even the best have t h e i r price? Were there only three or four that didn't deceive t h e i r hus- bands?" (Portrait, I I , 200-01). The marriage of the Touchetts, Ralph's parents i s more in t e r e s t i n g to contemplate. I t i s based on the maintenance of separate domiciles i n separate countries. James i s very dry i n his treatment of Mrs. Touchett, that d r i e s t of women. One finds i t d i f f i c u l t to believe that she was once, as her husband says, "fresh and natural and quick to understand -42- . . . l i k e Isabel" (Portrait, I, 74), but presumably her nature when one meets her i n the novel i s the r e s u l t of her marriage (among other influences); Her husband i s genial, sweet-tempered, easygoing and kind. She i s p r i c k l y , gen- e r a l l y close-mouthed, extremely f a s t i d i o u s , but also kind. The o r i g i n a l cause of t h e i r incompatibility i s never stated by James. One must accept i t as a donnde: " I t had become clear, at an early stage of t h e i r community, that they should never desire the same thing at the same moment" (Por- t r a i t , I, 26). Mrs. Touchett has a house of her own i n F l o - rence where she spends her time when not engaged i n t r a v e l - l i n g on the continent and to America. She comes once a year to Gardencourt and spends a month with her husband. She has views about other people's marriages, notably Isabel's: "that a young lady with whom Lord Warburton had not success- f u l l y wrestled should content herself with an obscure Ameri- can d i l e t t a n t e , a middle-aged widower with an uncanny c h i l d and an ambiguous income, t h i s answered to nothing i n Mrs. Touchett's conception of success. She took, i t w i l l be observed, not the sentimental, but the p o l i t i c a l view of matrimony—a view which has always had much to recommend i t " (Portrait, I, 394). Daniel Touchett has regrets about his marriage. He sees, for instance, no reason why they should l i v e apart simply because they cannot agree. He p e r s i s t s i n thinking marriage a worthwhile undertaking, despite the f a i l u r e of -43- his own. He takes, generally speaking, the sentimental view of women, advising Lord Warburton, "The ladies w i l l save us, . . . that i s the best of them w i l l — f o r I make a difference between them. Make up to a good one and marry her, and your l i f e w i l l become much more interesting'' (Por- t r a i t , I, 11). In ordinary d a i l y conversation he takes a whimsical, humourous view of his wife and of her unpredicta- ble nature. Presumably he finds t h i s a more graceful a t t i - tude on his part than querulous complaints about habits they are both too old to change. "She never telegraphs when you would expect i t - - o n l y when you don't. . . . She l i k e s to drop on me suddenly; she thinks s h e ' l l f i n d me doing something wrong. She has never done so yet, but she's not discouraged" (Portrait, I, 14). On hearing of her a r r i v i n g and immediately r e t i r i n g to her room he merely nods, "Yes— and locked herself i n . She always does that. Well, I sup- pose I s h a l l see her next week" (Portrait, I, 20). Perhaps his most c h a r a c t e r i s t i c remark i n t h i s vein i s one he makes to Isabel that f i r s t day at tea on the lawn: "Are you t a l k - ing about Mrs. Touchett? . . . Come here, my dear, and t e l l me about her. I'm always thankful for information'! (Portrait, I, 24). As he i s dying, he makes his f i n a l observations about his marriage to his son, Ralph: "Well . . . i t can't be said that my death w i l l make much difference i n your mother's l i f e . . . . Well, s h e ' l l have more money . . . I've l e f t her a good wife's portion, just as i f she had been -44- a good wife" (Portrait, I, 256). He i s g r a t e f u l and a l i t t l e puzzled about her uncharacteristic v i g i l at his deathbed, showing, at the l a s t , that same gently troubled, somewhat i n a r t i c u l a t e regret he has manifested throughout. He t r i e s to explain his feelings to Ralph, "your mother has been l e s s — l e s s — w h a t s h a l l I c a l l i t ? less out of the way since I've been i l l . I presume she knows I've noticed i t . . . . She doesn't do i t to please me. She does i t to p l e a s e — t o please. . . . She does i t because i t suits her" (Portrait, I, 256). Those are his l a s t words about his wife. Mrs. Touchett proves capable of a certain degree of insight into what t h e i r l i f e has been aft e r her husband's death. As she says to Madame Merle, "I know what you're going to say—he was a very good man. But I know i t better than any one, because I gave him more chance to show i t . In that I think I was a good wife" (Portrait, I, 295). She goes on to t e l l Madame Merle that her portion of the w i l l was most generous, and that she thought she saw i n that generosity a t r i b u t e to the fact that she was always f a i t h f u l to him p h y s i c a l l y and "never exhibited the smallest preference for anyone else" (Portrait, I, 295) . Her gravity i n making t h i s assertion tends to make the reader smile a l i t t l e , for there i s incongruity i n the idea of i l l i c i t passion a s s a i l i n g so austere, correct, and fastidious a woman as Mrs. Touchett. Hers i s a curious conception of herself as "a good wife" i n that she afforded her husband ample opportunity to demonstrate -45- his own fine nature by t o l e r a t i n g her e c c e n t r i c i t i e s . I t seems unlikel y that any thoughtful person w i l l share her 22 view that an absentee wife can be a good one. Isabel's marriage i s the most s i g n i f i c a n t one i n the novel, and the one i n which James dramatizes the gravest of his doubts about that i n s t i t u t i o n . Very early i n t h e i r acquaintance, and a propos of l i f e i n general Isabel Archer says to G i l b e r t Osmond, "I'm rather ashamed of my plans; I make a new one every day. . . . I t seems f r i v o l o u s , I think. One ought to choose something very deliberately and be f a i t h f u l to that" (Portrait, I, 381). This moral earnest- ness i s the strongest element i n her personality, and i n com- bination with pride (with which i t accords s u r p r i s i n g l y w e l l ) , constitutes Isabel's character. Isabel's character i s her destiny, for her b e l i e f s lead her inexorably toward her doom. Even as she praises cool judgment Isabel i s already beginning to lose hers. James's p o r t r a i t of a lady f a l l i n g i n love i s a masterpiece of i r o n i e s . Isabel i s f i r s t i n - trigued by Osmond's seeming uniqueness: "Her mind contained no class o f f e r i n g a natural place to Mr. Osmond—he was a specimen apart. . . . She had never met a person of so fin e a grain" (Portrait, I, 376). He i s mysterious: " I t was not so much what he said and did, but rather what he withheld that marked him for her" (Portrait, I, 376). She decides that he perhaps has some f a u l t s but even these seem admira- . ble: "He was c e r t a i n l y fastidious and c r i t i c a l ; he was -46- probably i r r i t a b l e . His s e n s i b i l i t y had governed him— possibly governed him too much; i t had made him impatient of vulgar troubles and had led him to l i v e by himself, i n a sorted, s i f t e d , arranged world, thinking about art and beauty and history" (Portrait, I, 376-77). Thus Isabel muses while she exerts herself more than ever before i n her l i f e to make a good impression. She t r i e s to appear a woman of exquisite tastes: " I t would have annoyed her to express a l i k i n g for something that he, i n his superior enlighten- ment, would think she oughtn't to l i k e ; or to pass by some- thing at which the t r u l y i n i t i a t e d mind would arrest i t s e l f . She had no wish to f a l l into that grotesqueness—in which she had seen women (and i t was a warning) serenely, yet ignobly, flounder. She was very c a r e f u l , therefore as to what she said, as to what she noticed or f a i l e d to notice; more ca r e f u l than she had ever been before" (P o r t r a i t , I, 379). Ultimately, of course, she repeats with Osmond the error she had made about Madame Merle. When Osmond t e l l s Isabel about his l i f e , she i s not content to accept the d u l l facts but dresses them i n splendors. James smiles at poor Isabel's c r e d u l i t y : "This would have been rather a dry account of Mr. Osmond's career i f Isabel had f u l l y believed i t ; but her imagination supplied the human element which she was sure had not been wanting" (Portrait, I, 382-83). Isabel i s Osmond's w i l l i n g accomplice i n deceiving herself into -47- believing him i n f i n i t e l y more i n t e l l i g e n t , refined, impor- tant, and worthy than he r e a l l y i s . The seeds of her future unhappiness are a l l present i n these passages. As Ross Labrie has pointed out, "The mix- ture of acquisitiveness, vanity, and aestheticism towards Osmond i s curiously s i m i l a r to his attitude to her, and t h i s 2 3 tends to take some of the pathos out of Isabel's case." Like Osmond, Isabel i s something of a c o l l e c t o r of the rare human specimen. She assumes that those facets of Osmond s t i l l undiscovered are r i c h e r even than those exposed, and even more deserving of investigation. In seeking to appear rare to him as w e l l — t o appear an ext r a o r d i n a r i l y c u l t i v a t e d , clever, and a r t i s t i c woman—Isabel i s displaying her pride. She believes herself better than other women and wants him to agree. Of a l l Isabel's early r e f l e c t i o n s , however, the one which most dir e c t s her l a t e r course i s her determination to "choose something very d e l i b e r a t e l y , and be f a i t h f u l to that" (Portrait, I, 381). Isabel chooses to marry G i l b e r t Osmond, and her struggle i s to be f a i t h f u l to that deliberate choice. Her temptations are not cast i n the form of other men: the Caspar Goodwood episodes show how impervious she i s to cer- t a i n sorts of masculine appeal. He has always jnade her f e e l smothered, pinioned, overmastered. At the end of each of th e i r interviews before her marriage she i s so overwrought as to collapse i n tears. S i m i l a r l y i n t h e i r fourth and f i n a l -48- interview her reaction to him i s c l e a r l y expressed i n terms of panic and sexual revulsion. She compares his love to those others she has known: "This was the hot wind of the desert, at the approach of which the others dropped dead, l i k e mere sweet a i r s of the garden. I t wrapped her about; i t l i f t e d her o f f her feet, while the very taste of i t , as of something potent, a c r i d and strange, forced open her set teeth" (Portrait, I I , 434). Isabel's temptations are within h e r s e l f . As Dorothea Krook e x p l a i n s , 2 4 there i s never i n Isabel's mind any s e r i - ous intention either to l e g a l l y separate from Osmond or to seek a divorce. Isabel's struggle i s to remain true to her own conception of marriage and to reconcile t h i s i d e a l with ugly r e a l i t y and her own i n d i v i d u a l i t y . Isabel has always been a woman who values her own ideas, but i n her v i g i l by the dying f i r e she rues them as the cause of Osmond's hatred of her. The reader learns, to his shock and p i t y , that now "She had no opinions—none that she would not have been eager to s a c r i f i c e i n the s a t i s f a c t i o n of f e e l i n g herself loved for i t " (Portrait, I, 195). But what Osmond hates i n her i s even more than t h i s . I t i s "the whole t h i n g — h e r character, the way she f e l t , the way she judged. . . . She had a certain way of looking at l i f e which he took as a per- sonal offence" (Portrait, I I , 195). Isabel cannot change "the whole thing" that she i s to s u i t Osmond; she can only minimize i t , t r y to stay out of his way, steer conversations away from inflammatory topics, assume the demeanor of the d u t i f u l wife. How p i t i f u l l y contracted and circumscribed i s thus the l i f e of the s p i r i t e d g i r l whose future everyone had foreseen as so very bright. Her fate i s , af t e r a l l , to be "ground i n the very m i l l of the conventional" (Portrait, I I , 415). Marriage was to Isabel "a complete commitment of one 25 person to another." I t was a r e s p o n s i b i l i t y of the utmost gravity. The news that Ralph i s dying at Gardencourt pre- c i p i t a t e s a c r i s i s which had long been imminent i n t h e i r marriage. Isabel r e f l e c t s , "Marriage meant that i n such a case as t h i s , when one had to choose, one chose as a matter of course for one's husband" (Portrait, I I , 361). She fears "the violence there would be i n going when Osmond wished her to stay" (Portrait, I I , 361), by which she means the v i o - lence of a broken ideal. To Isabel "marriage meant that a woman should cleave to the man with whom, uttering tremen- dous vows, she had stood at the a l t a r " (Portrait, I I , 361). To Isabel, "anything seemed preferable to repudiating the most serious a c t — t h e single sacred a c t — o f her l i f e " (Por- t r a i t , I I , 247). After hearing the truth from the Countess Gemini, Isabel goes to Gardencourt—not i n defiance but i n despair and confusion. Isabel's return to Osmond i s not a p o s i t i v e act, nor did she r e a l l y have any other choice. Her marriage i s to her an immense r e s p o n s i b i l i t y , and i f she cannot be happy -50- she can at least be good; she can be true to her own implaca- ble code of honourable conduct. As Ross Labrie observes, "Isabel tends to waver between a sense of personal responsi- b i l i t y for the f a i l u r e of her marriage and a sense of having 2 6 been betrayed by Osmond." This sense of personal responsi- b i l i t y i s what surfaces during her v i g i l : "There were times when she almost p i t i e d him; for i f she had not deceived him in intention she understood how completely she must have done so i n fact. She had effaced herself when he f i r s t knew her; she had made herself small, pretending there was less of her than there r e a l l y was" (Portrait, I I , 191). "Yes she had been h y p o c r i t i c a l ; she had l i k e d him so much" (Por- t r a i t , I I , 195). Isabel returns to Osmond because she cannot forgive or excuse t h i s hypocrisy i n herself and because she considers marriage an ind i s s o l u b l e union. She has an abso- lute conception of personal i n t e g r i t y that serves quite adequately (along with her absolute conception of marriage) to imprison her forever i n that unholy a l l i a n c e with Osmond. She w i l l do what penance she can for the rest of her l i f e . At the novel's conclusion, Isabel returns to her suffo- cating marriage i n Rome. She i s gallant and i d e a l i s t i c even in defeat, but she i s defeated. Nor are any of the conven- t i o n a l consolations possible for Isabel; she i s as constitu- t i o n a l l y incapable of embarking on a marital career l i k e that of s u p e r f i c i a l Mrs. Touchett as of taking comfort and lovers l i k e the fri v o l o u s Amy, Countess Gemini. The Countess -51- Gemini observes when she f i r s t scents Madame Merle's plan to marry Isabel to Osmond for the sake of her fortune, "Well i t ' s a p i t y she's so charming. . . . To be s a c r i f i c e d , any g i r l would do. She needn't be superior" (Portrait, I, 392). To prove James's point, however, that i s exactly what she must be. Isabel has to be the most exquisite and valuable woman imaginable to emphasize the pathos of what James sees as one of the possible fates a woman may face i n marriage. She may well f i n d herself i n the s i t u a t i o n of Isabel, who "suddenly found the i n f i n i t e v i s t a of a mul t i p l i e d l i f e to be a dark, narrow a l l e y with a dead wall at the end" (Por- t r a i t , I I , 189). One of the many things The P o r t r a i t of a Lady i s i s a warning to women. The Golden Bowl i s the novel i n which James most c l o s e l y examines the i n s t i t u t i o n of marriage, and an i n t r i g u i n g and bloodcurdling study i t i s . I t i s a novel of f e a r f u l symmetry focusing, for the most part, not on the two marriages which are i t s ostensible centre, but on the more vibrant, compli- cated and tangled relationships which i n t e r e s t i t s protago- n i s t s more nearly. Thus Maggie Verver derives more joy from her extremely close, p l a c i d r e l a t i o n s h i p with her father than from her r e l a t i v e l y newer one with Prince Amerigo, the man she marries. S i m i l a r l y , Charlotte Stant i s more i n t e r - ested i n being her son-in-law's mistress than her husband's wife. Yet both Maggie and Charlotte are married women, and both must face the implications of what that means. Each -52- must learn that marriage has an aspect l i k e "the grimness of a crunched key i n the strongest lock that could be made" (Bowl, I, 5). Maggie i n i t i a l l y regards her marriage as an adventure. When, a few days before t h e i r wedding, Amerigo t r i e s to con- vey to her a kind of v e i l e d warning about how l i t t l e she r e a l l y knows about him, her response i s a b l i t h e "Luckily, my dear . . . f o r what then would become, please, of the promised occupation of my future?" (Bowl, I, 9). Maggie i s incapable of understanding him, radiant i n her confidence, complacent i n her ignorance. She loves Amerigo and so she trusts him. If Maggie had actually put into e f f e c t her plan for the "promised occupation" of her future, a l l might have been well; but Maggie begins to ignore her husband soon a f t e r t h e i r return, with t h e i r infant son, from t h e i r extended wedding t r i p to America. She neglects Amerigo i n favour of another man, her father. The new baby i s the occasion for t h e i r meeting even more often and more intimately than before: It was of course an old story and a f a m i l i a r theme that a b e a u t i f u l baby could take i t s place as a new l i n k between a wife and a husband, but Maggie and her father had, with every ingenuity, converted the precious creature into a l i n k be- tween a mamma and a grandpapa (Bowl, I, 156). -53 Maggie sees nothing odd i n t h i s arrangement, and i n no way- considers Adam encroaching on Amerigo's p r i v i l e g e s or t e r r i - tory. Such i s the pattern of her existence even afte r her father marries, as well. As Adam's wife d r i l y characterizes t h e i r r e l a t i o n s h i p , "They were f a i r l y , at times, the dear things, l i k e children playing at paying v i s i t s , playing at 'Mr. Thompson' and 'Mrs. Fane', each hoping that the other would r e a l l y stay to tea" (Bowl, I, 252). It i s not u n t i l halfway through the novel that Maggie begins to r e a l i z e that "Amerigo and Charlotte were arranged together, but she . . . was arranged apart" (Bowl, I I , 45). She decides to repair t h i s discrepancy by sheer e f f o r t of w i l l , undertaking to detach her husband from his mistress without causing any apparent interruption i n the intimacy of the two couples. She gets Amerigo back because she i s his wife and he i s rather intrigued at her f i n a l l y noticing him, l e t alone her turning the f u l l battery of her heretofore unsuspected attention on him. However, the chief motivation for his return i s that she has a great deal of money and he w i l l lose i t i f his defection i s permanent. Maggie never does face the whole truth about herself and her inadequacies. She c l i n g s , to the l a s t , to the s e l f - righteous theory that she and her father were absolutely innocent of blame i n the question of t h e i r spouses' a f f a i r . When the time comes for Adam Verver to remove his f a i t h l e s s -54- wife to America, Maggie s t i l l wails to Fanny Assingham, her confidante (everybody's confidante!): "They're the ones who are saved. . . . We're the ones who are l o s t . . . . Lost to each other — f a t h e r and I. . . . Oh yes . . . l o s t to each other much more, r e a l l y , than Amerigo and Char- l o t t e are: since for them i t ' s j u s t , i t ' s r i g h t , i t ' s deserved, while for us i t ' s only sad and strange and not caused by our f a u l t " (Bowl, I I , 333) . After the other couple has departed for America, Mag- gie's l a s t act i n t h i s very scenic novel i s to bury her face i n her husband's breast. She does so, James says, "for p i t y and dread" (Bowl, I I , 369) of what she sees i n her husband's eyes, which i s "the truth" of his assertion that he sees nothing but herself. Maggie has worked hard for t h i s moment which should be sweet and triumphant for her. She now stands alone i n her husband's sight, e c l i p s i n g the rest of the world. She has, to a l l appearances, "saved" her marri- age, but hers i s a b i t t e r v i c t o r y . Maggie has won and l o s t at the same time. She has won the p r a c t i c a l v i c t o r y of complete possession of her husband (a rather dubious honour), but l o s t the sweetness of the old-time association with her father. Moreover she has l o s t the sweetness of her bright, early f a i t h i n her husband. -55- Now she knows a l l about him and must come to terms with that knowledge. For Maggie and the Prince marriage i s forever, and they w i l l both l i v e a very long time with t h e i r regrets, blackened hopes, p a i n f u l memories, and aching sense of lo s s . Charlotte finds no comfort i n her marriage either. She enters into i t for p r a c t i c a l reasons; she does not marry for love. She explains the advantages she sees i n such a union to Adam when he proposes: "I should l i k e to be a l i t t l e less a d r i f t . I should l i k e to have a home. I should l i k e to have an existence. I should l i k e to have a motive for one thing more than another. . . . It's the state, I mean. I don't l i k e my own. 'Miss', among us a l l , i s too dreadful—except for a shopgirl. I don't want to be a h o r r i - ble English old-maid" (Bowl, I, 219). Charlotte might have added that Adam's money i s his chief a t t r a c t i o n , but such bluntness would be unnecessary as well as ungraceful, for they both i m p l i c i t l y acknowledge the fact. Charlotte's expectations i n her marriage are quite modest, but she i s thwarted by circumstances. She hopes to have children, but there are hints that Adam i s impotent. As for the home she longs f o r , she finds Maggie, on her countless v i s i t s to Adam, the v i r t u a l mistress there. As Fanny Assingham remarks, "Maggie and the c h i l d spread so" (Bowl, I, 374). Charlotte views her r e s p o n s i b i l i t i e s i n marriage much l i k e a business partnership: "What could be simpler than one's going through with everything . . . when -56- i t ' s so p l a i n a part of one's contract? I've got so much, by my marriage . . . that I should deserve no charity i f I s t i n t e d my return. Not to do that, to give back on the con- trary a l l one can, i s just one's decency and one's honour and one's v i r t u e " (Bowl, I, 318). What Charlotte does, s p e c i f i c a l l y , i s go on a wedding t r i p to America "where, by a l l accounts, she had wondrously borne the brunt; facing b r i g h t l y , at her husband's side, everything that came u p — and what had come, often, was beyond words" (Bowl, I, 317). Ultimately her duty seems to be reduced to one kind of e f f o r t : she "mounted, cheerfully, the London treadmill" (Bowl, I, 317) to represent the Ververs, father and daughter, at s o c i a l events. "They had brought her in--on the crudest expression of i t — t o do the 'worldly' for them, and she had done i t with . . . genius" (Bowl, I, 318). Charlotte's o r i g i n a l hopes for her marriage are frus- trated and, when she becomes bored with her s o c i a l duties and caught up again i n her old passion for Amerigo, she decides that, having f u l f i l l e d the Ververs 1 expectations of her, she i s e n t i t l e d to s t e a l what happiness she can outside her marriage. In t h i s she e r r s : she i s not so e n t i t l e d . Charlotte i s a married woman and, l i k e Maggie, must face the grim and inescapable implications of that contract. She i s locked within her marriage to Adam to such a degree that he l i t e r a l l y becomes her keeper. -57- Yet for a time Charlotte i s happy and manages to forget about Adam and her r e l a t i o n s h i p to him. There i s an a i r of i n e v i t a b i l i t y about her a f f a i r with the Prince. They had been lovers long before but lacked enough money to marry one another. Now, thrown together so constantly and ignored so t o t a l l y by t h e i r spouses, they f e e l j u s t i f i e d . As Charlotte explains to Amerigo: " I t makes such a r e l a t i o n for us, as I v e r i l y believe, was never before i n the world thrust upon two well-meaning creatures. Haven 11 we therefore to take things as we f i n d them? . . . What else can we do, what i n a l l the world else?" (Bowl, I, 302-03). Charlotte i s the aggressor and the arranger of t h e i r assignations. I t i s t h i s 2 7 "unfeminine" directness which, perhaps, contributes to the eventual decline of Amerigo's i n t e r e s t i n her. However, throughout the a f f a i r Charlotte i s a most pathetic creature, indeed. She must dissemble her love i n her every waking moment and cannot be completely honest even to her lover, l e s t he weary of her. She must be ever graceful, s o p h i s t i - cated, l i g h t . Charlotte's true f e e l i n g i s evident when Amerigo turns from her; then she i s l i k e a puzzled, wounded animal. At Matcham in the golden beginning of t h e i r a f f a i r she had explained her rules of conduct i n l i f e to Amerigo. He said of himself, "I go, as you know, by my su p e r s t i t i o n s " , and she r e p l i e d , "I go but by one thing . . . I go by you . . . I go by you" (Bowl, I, 360). This i s the t r u t h — t h a t f -58- despite her worldly a i r s , Charlotte i s wholly dependent on Amerigo, and when she loses him she loses a l l . Charlotte's fate i s q u a l i t a t i v e l y worse than that of either of her unhappy predecessors i n the James canon, Kate Croy and Marie de Vionnet. Though each of the other two women had to face the grim end of the a f f a i r , each was sus- tained (to the degree possible) by her recognition of the in e x o r a b i l i t y and even the l o g i c a l i t y of such a conclusion. Charlotte, on the contrary, was t o l d nothing; she was simply abandoned between one day and the next. She was made the 2 8 scapegoat for a l l four sinners i n the novel. Nor was Charlotte permitted the cold comfort of picking up the pieces and ordering her future as best she could. Charlotte's future i s imposed upon her by her husband. To i n s i s t that she can be free i n the future, as Leon Edel does, i s wrong: Charlotte ends with the wealth and power and free- dom of her marriage to an American tycoon, and i f Adam takes her back to America t h i s does not necessarily mean she i s being taken to prison. We know that she w i l l ultimately be free, l i k e James's other American wives, to t r a v e l , to b u i l d houses, to acquire a r t treasures, or other lovers. 29 She can become Mrs. Touchett. Charlotte can never be free l i k e Mrs. Touchett, for now Adam does not t r u s t her, and the power his fabulous wealth and his l e g a l p o s i t i o n as her husband give him enable him to control her completely. In f a c t , the passage which u l t i - mately symbolizes t h e i r r e l a t i o n s h i p i s probably one of the most v i o l e n t and s i n i s t e r i n a l l the James canon. The scene takes place at Fawns, during that hot, purgatorial summer: Charlotte hung behind Adam with emphasized atten- t i o n ; she stopped when her husband stopped, but at the distance of a case or two . . . and the likeness of t h e i r connexion wouldn't have been wrongly figured i f he had been thought of as holding i n one of his pocketed hands the end of a long s i l k e n halter looped round her b e a u t i f u l neck. He didn't twitch i t , yet i t was there; he didn't drag her, but she came (Bowl, I I , 287). Charlotte's role i n America w i l l be an i n t e n s i f i e d version of her p a i n f u l cicerone performances at Fawns, where Char- l o t t e ' s lectures to her gaping group on the wonders of Ver- ver 's a rt treasures had f o r Maggie a sound " l i k e the shriek of a soul i n pain" (Bowl, I I , 292). But i n America the pressure to perform w i l l be unremitting. Charlotte w i l l l i v e forever i n the museum at American City. Her apparent control at the close of the novel i s mere bravado; she knows her grim fate. Charlotte i s one of the most frenzied and p i t i a b l e of James's women, but her unhappiness i s t y p i c a l of that which - 6 0 - he sees as the common l o t of woman. Charlotte i s trapped in her marriage by her desire to maintain appearances, by her despair at Amerigo's desertion, and by her apparent dec i - sion to s e t t l e for Adam's wealth since she cannot have Ameri- go's love. Maggie's ultimate fate i s to accept with what grace she can the knowledge that she can only secure her husband by giving up her beloved f a t h e r — a renunciation that i s l i k e death to both of them. Isabel Archer's choice of Gil b e r t Osmond as her husband i s the mistake to which she s a c r i f i c e s a l l her youthful idealism, v i v a c i t y , and charm. Isabel, Maggie, and Charlotte each discover marriage to be a grim a l t a r on which she must s a c r i f i c e her i n d i v i d u a l i t y . Nor are James's unmarried women happy. The various s o c i e t i e s i n which they l i v e s t i p u l a t e that i t i s every g i r l ' s duty to marry and to marry well. Each responds to thi s pressure i n her own way: Nanda Brookenham and Biddy Dormer suffer unrequited love; gentle Pansy Osmond i s a mere pawn i n the hands of her unscrupulous father; while Daisy M i l l e r and J u l i a Bride behave so f r i v o l o u s l y that they f o r - f e i t the good opinions of the men i n whom they are most interested. Thus i t continues, and James's f i c t i o n can be regarded as a catalogue of female misery. The experience of each female character does include some po s i t i v e aspects, but these are so c h a r a c t e r i s t i c a l l y of one sort that the term "tr a g i c awareness" has become a staple of Jamesian c r i t i c i s m . -61- The wisdom that comes with experience always necessitates pain for James's women and never brings s a t i s f a c t i o n or peace. None can hope for more than a state of grey resigna- tion and compromise. -62- Notes to Introduction and Chapter One "''According to Leon Edel, Henry James: The Master (Phila- delphia and New York: J. B. Lippincott Co., 1972), pp. 500-01. 2 Henry James, "Preface to The Awkward Age," i n The Awkward Age (New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1908), p. x. 3 Henry James, "Preface to The Awkward Age," pp. x - x i . A l l further references to t h i s novel w i l l be to t h i s New York Ed i t i o n and included i n the text. ^Henry James, The P o r t r a i t of a Lady, 2 vols. (New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1908), I, 369. A l l further r e f e r - ences w i l l be to t h i s e d i t i o n of the novel and included i n the text. 5 In the "Preface to The Awkward Age" James says, " I t i s compromise that has suffered her to be i n question at a l l [as a member of the salon), and that has condemned the free- dom of the c i r c l e to be self-conscious, compunctious, on the whole much more timid than brave" (p. x i i i ) . c F. W. Dupee i s mistaken when he says Nanda "queens i t " i n her salon upstairs, and mistaken when he sees her gesture as "impertinence". Cf. his Henry James, American Men of Letters Series (New York: William Sloane Associates, 1951), pp. 201-02). 7 Henry James, The Tragic Muse, 2 vols. New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1908), I I , 288. A l l further r e f e r - ences w i l l be to t h i s e d i t i o n of the novel and included i n the text. Henry James, "The Manners of American Women,"JHarper's Bazar, 41 (April-July, 1907), rpt. i n Peter Buitenhuis, ed., French Writers and American Women Essays (Branford, Conn.: Compass, 1960), p. 70. 9 According to Peter Buitenhuis, "From Daisy M i l l e r to J u l i a Bride: 'A Whole Passage of I n t e l l e c t u a l History,'" AQ, II (1959), 140. "^Henry James, "Letter to Mrs. Lynn Linton, ca. 1880," i n George Somes Layard, Mrs. Lynn Linton (London: Methuen and Co., 1901), pp. 233-34, rpt. i n William T. Stafford, ed., James's "Daisy M i l l e r " : The Story, The Play, The C r i t i c s (New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1963), pp. 115-16. 1'1"Henry James, The Golden Bowl, 2 vols. (New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1909), I, 52. A l l further r e f e r - ences are to t h i s e d i t i o n of the novel and w i l l be included i n the text. -64- 12 Annette Kar, "Archetypes of American Innocence," AQ, 5 (Spring, 1953), 32. Quoted by Peter Buitenhuis "From Daisy M i l l e r to J u l i a Bride," p. 137. 13 Peter Buitenhuis, "From Daisy M i l l e r to J u l i a Bride," p. 137. 1 4 I b i d . , p. 143. 1 5 I b i d . , p. 142. 16 Henry James, " J u l i a Bride" i n The Novels and Tales of Henry James, Vol. 17 (New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1909), 532. 1 7Henry James, " J u l i a Bride," p. 512. 18 Henry James, "Preface to 'The A l t a r of the Dead' etc.," i n The Novels and Tales of Henry James, Vol. 17 (New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1909), x x v i - x x v i i . 19 L y a l l H. Powers, Henry James and the Na t u r a l i s t Movement (Michigan: Michigan State Univ. Press, 1971), p. 80, agrees. 20 Henry James, The Bostonians: A Novel (London and New York: Macmillan and Co., 1886), p. 32. 21 Peter Buitenhuis, The Grasping Imagination: The Ameri- can Writings of Henry James (Toronto: U. of T. Press, 1970), p. 150, agrees. -65- Oscar C a r g i l l , The Novels of Henry James (New York: The Macmillan Co., 19 61), cannot, for example. Cf. pp. 104 and 117 (n. 73). 23 . . Ross Labrie, "The Morality of Consciousness i n Henry James," Colby Library Quart., 9 (Dec. 1971), 418. 24 . . Dorothea Krook, The Ordeal of Consciousness i n Henry James (Cambridge: Cambridge Univ. Press, 1962), pp. 357-62. 2 5Krook, p. 358. Labrie, "Morality of Consciousness," p. 417. 27 Krook, p. 294, discusses how Charlotte makes i t a l l "too easy" for Amerigo. 2 8 Elso Nettels i s mistaken i n i n s i s t i n g Maggie was the scapegoat, just as she i s mistaken i n maintaining that James's scapegoats volunteer for t h e i r ordeals. Cf. "The Scapegoats and Martyrs of Henry James," Colby Library Quart., 10 (Sept. 1974), 413-27. 29 Leon Edel, The Master, p. 215. -66- Chapter Two Men i n the F i c t i o n James sees f u t i l i t y , unhappiness, and an absence of s e l f - f u l f i l m e n t as the l o t of woman i n a l l her incarna- tions, but at least his women are i n t r i n s i c a l l y valuable people. His men, i n almost a l l cases, lack t h e i r v i v a c i t y , spontaneity, and degree of self-awareness. In the main they are not as int e r e s t i n g . I t i s certain that they are not as appealing. It i s in t e r e s t i n g that James so steadfastly prefers women to men, not i n any sexual sense but for t h e i r q u a l i - t i e s of heightened i n t e l l i g e n c e , i n t u i t i o n and ready sym- pathy. His men are almost always harder, colder, less s e n s i t i v e , more ruthless. Even women who would o r d i n a r i l y be considered e v i l , l i k e Kate Croy and Serena Merle, are portrayed sympathetically. James lingers to study t h e i r catastrophes with p i t y . One does not sense such p i t y for t h e i r male counterparts i n e v i l — f o r G i l b e r t Osmond, for example. James portrays only a small corner of l i f e , only a few kinds of men. He i s not interested i n the d a i l y rounds of the hard-working physician, or the triumphs and disappoint- ments of the devoted teacher. Certainly he i s oblivious to -67- the charm of the non-professional working classes. Men i n James's f i c t i o n are t y p i c a l l y opportunists looking for r i c h women to support them, or r e t i r e d businessmen t r y i n g to buy love, happiness and culture. Though James's women, for a l l t h e i r f a u l t s , are generally v a l i a n t , charming, and admirable, his men are i n f i n i t e l y less so. They are most often egotis- t i c a l and in s e n s i t i v e to the needs of others. In f a c t , they often seem to have no souls at a l l . Like James's women, a l l f i n d l i f e ultimately p a i n f u l and even meaningless. The best examples of James's lack of sympathy with his male characters are to be found i n his studies of male oppor- tun i s t s . The male opportunists i n James's f i c t i o n often have a curiously passive side to t h e i r natures: they wait u n t i l circumstances and the exertions of other people bring t h e i r desires to f r u i t i o n . Excellent examples of such men are Prince Amerigo of The Golden Bowl and Gi l b e r t Osmond of The P o r t r a i t of a Lady. Amerigo's marriage to the only daughter of a fabulously r i c h American was o r i g i n a l l y con- ceived by a mutual f r i e n d , Fanny Assingham (Bowl, I, 21 and 2 8-29). Maggie and Adam Verver are charmed not by what Amerigo does but by what he i s _ — a handsome, though impover- ished, prince of ancient Roman lineage. Maggie a i r i l y explains to Amerigo his value to her father: "You're , , . part of his c o l l e c t i o n . . , one of the things that can only be got over here. You're -68- a r a r i t y , an object of beauty, an object of p r i c e . You're not perhaps absolutely unique, but you're so curious and eminent that there are very few others l i k e you—you belong to a class about which everything i s known. You're what they c a l l a mor- ceau de musee" (Bowl, I, 12). This i s the s t a t i c basis on which he enters the Verver menage and so he continues i n i t . He promptly presents Ver- ver with a grandson and hei r to his b i l l i o n s , but himself takes l i t t l e i n t e r e s t i n the c h i l d . In fact Amerigo takes l i t t l e i n t e r e s t i n anything: he i s aimless but amiable, pleasant but not himself pleased. He i s ignored and taken for granted by Maggie and her father and bewildered by Eng- l i s h society and i t s attitude toward him. In Rome the Prince's t i t l e always assured him of deference and respect; i n England he does not get i t . He muses i d l y at Matcham on "the so f a m i l i a r fact of his sa c r i f i c e s — d o w n to the idea of the very relinquishment, for his wife's convenience, of his re a l s i t u a t i o n i n the world; with the consequence, thus, that he was, i n the l a s t analysis, among a l l these so often i n f e r i o r people, p r a c t i c a l l y held cheap and made l i g h t of" (Bowl, I, 353). The keys to his personality may be found i n two pas- sages i n the novel. In the f i r s t of these, Amerigo's vanity i s revealed, a vanity already stung by Maggie's neglect of -69- him. The subject i s Amerigo's resentment of the Ververs' taking i t so for granted that he and Ch a r l o t t e — a l o n e , to- gether—should constantly represent the family at s o c i a l events. He r e f l e c t s : Being thrust, systematically, with another woman, and a woman one happened, by the same token, exceedingly to l i k e , and being so thrust that the theory of i t seemed to publish one as i d i o t i c or i n c a p a b l e — t h i s was a predicament of which the dignity depended a l l on one's own handling. What was supremely grotesque i n fact was the es s e n t i a l opposition of t h e o r i e s — a s i f a galantuomo, as he at l e a s t c o n s t i t u t i o n a l l y conceived galantuomini, could do anything but blush to "go about" at such a rate with such a person as Mrs. Verver i n a state of c h i l d l i k e innocence, the state of our primitive parents before the F a l l (Bowl, I, 335). Maggie had t o l d Amerigo "you belong to a class about which everything i s known" (Bowl, I, 12), i n r e f e r r i n g to the numerous volumes of his family's history i n the public l i b r a r y , but his galantuomo side i s also something she should have taken into consideration. He w i l l not with impunity be published as " i d i o t i c or incapable". Amerigo's p a s s i v i t y i s his other chief c h a r a c t e r i s t i c . He can be lured e a s i l y by money or desire. He can even -70- elaborate theories excusing his vagrancies, as he does i n his extraordinary reverie at Matchara. For a l l i t s extreme aesthetic charm, his reverie and the s i t u a t i o n i t describes are f u l l of r a t i o n a l i z a t i o n and sophistry: t h i s place had sounded i t s name to him half the night through, and i t s name had become but another name, the pronounceable and convenient one, for that supreme sense of things which now throbbed within him. He had kept saying to himself "Glou- cester, Gloucester, Gloucester," quite as i f the sharpest meaning of a l l the years just passed were intensely expressed i n i t . That meaning was r e a l l y that his s i t u a t i o n remained quite sublimely consistent with i t s e l f , and that they absolutely, he and Charlotte, stood there to- gether i n the very l u s t r e of t h i s truth. . . . He knew why, from the f i r s t of his marriage, he had t r i e d with such patience for such conformity; he knew why he had given up so much and bored himself so much; he knew why he, at any rate, had gone i n , on the basis of a l l forms, on the basis of his having, i n a manner, sold himself, for a si t u a t i o n nette. I t had a l l been just i n order that h i s — w e l l , what on earth should he c a l l i t but his freedom?—should at present be as perfect and rounded and lustrous as some huge precious -71- pearl. He hadn't struggled or snatched; he was taking but what had been given him; the pearl dropped i t s e l f , with i t s exquisite q u a l i t y and r a r i t y , s t raight into his hand (Bowl, I, 357-58). The Prince thinks that he i s to be repaid for a l l the bore- dom he has endured over the l a s t four years, thinks even that i t has bought him his freedom. The "perfect and rounded and lustrous" pearl i s his freedom and Charlotte at one and the same time. And the best part i s that "the pearl dropped i t s e l f . . . straight into his hand" without his l i f t i n g a finger. I t i s something l i k e a point of honour with him that "He hadn't struggled or snatched". When Maggie confronts Amerigo with her knowledge of his i n f i d e l i t y , he abandons Charlotte immediately—without a qualm or even an explanation."'" He does not care about how she feels or what happens to her: the a f f a i r has been a l l of her own contriving and now i t i s no longer convenient. He h a s t i l y returns to his role as family man i n which, though he w i l l not be happy or amused, he w i l l , at l e a s t , be r i c h . Amerigo i s thus exposed as a cad, a d r i f t e r , a man of no honour or moral substance, dedicated to expediency alone. G i l b e r t Osmond i s James's most redoubtable p o r t r a i t of the male opportunist, but, unlike Amerigo, he i s s i n i s t e r i n the extreme. He has the same passive q u a l i t y as Amerigo, but i n Osmond i t manifests i t s e l f l i k e that of the spider, -72- who, having spun a treacherous web, waits c o o l l y at the cen- tre for his victim to blunder i n . Like Amerigo, Osmond owes his marriage to the auspices of a woman fri e n d ; unlike Ameri- go's case there are not benevolent intentions a l l round. Serena Merle knows a l l about Osmond, knows a l l about the cruelty of which he i s capable. (Who could know better? She i s herself his discarded mistress.) Yet she schemes to 2 marry him to Isabel Archer, a vulnerable young heiress. There seem to be two c r i t i c a l camps with regard to G i l - bert Osmond. Most numerous are the c r i t i c s who see him as a r c h - v i l l i a n , the incarnation of e v i l , the machiavellian 3 manipulator of innocent Isabel. However, as Charles Thomas 4 Samuels sensibly points out James has invested his p o r t r a i t with a great many ambiguities about Isabel's own share of r e s p o n s i b i l i t y i n the matter of her marriage,^ so i t i s d i f - f i c u l t to see her as wholly blameless. S i m i l a r l y , Manfred 6 MacKenzie takes v i o l e n t exception to what he considers Isabel's melodramatic version of her s i t u a t i o n i n her famous v i g i l (Chapter Forty-two); pointing out that the worst thing Ralph can say about Osmond when Isabel t e l l s him of her engagement i s that he thinks Osmond "small" (Portrait, I I , 70). MacKenzie's arguments that no-one but Isabel categori- c a l l y condemns Osmond simply prove that Osmond has success- f u l l y hidden his malevolence from the rest of the world; or, rather, that Osmond's malevolence does not f l a r e before he has provocation. (He comes to consider Isabel's resistance -73- to his ideas provocation enough.) But whether Osmond i s considered wholly or p a r t i a l l y responsible, a l l c r i t i c s agree i n finding him, as Ralph does, a " s t e r i l e d i l e t t a n t e " ( P o r t r a i t , I I , 71). This i s the facet of Osmond most emphasized i n the chapter i n which Osmond proposes to Isabel, Chapter Twenty-nine. The s t e r i l - i t y of his int e r e s t i n her i s a manifestation of his a l l - consuming egotism. He wants her to r e f l e c t only him and his ideas. In thi s chapter, James reveals Osmond's charac- t e r i s t i c t r a i t s to be s e l f - p i t y and indolence, q u a l i t i e s notably s t e r i l e . Osmond i s r e f l e c t i n g on the growing possi- b i l i t y that Isabel may accept his s u i t : At present he was happy—happier than he had per- haps ever been i n his l i f e , and the f e e l i n g had a large foundation. This was simply the sense of success—the most agreeable emotion of the human heart. Osmond had never had too much of i t . . . "Ah no, I've not been spoiled; c e r t a i n l y I've not been spoiled,' 1 he used inwardly to re- peat. " If I do succeed before I die I s h a l l thoroughly have earned i t . " He was too apt to reason as i f "earning" t h i s boon consisted above a l l of covertly aching for i t and might be con- fined to that exercise (Portrait, I I , 11-12). He complacently compares himself to an "anonymous drawing" -74- i n a museum suddenly " i d e n t i f i e d . . . as from the hand of a great master" (Portrait, I I , 12). This long-coveted recognition i s what Isabel represents to him: "His ' s t y l e 1 was what the g i r l had discovered with a l i t t l e help; and now, beside herself enjoying i t , she should publish i t to the world without his having any of the trouble. She would do the thing for him, and he would not have waited i n vain" (Portrait, I I , 12). . Osmond has always resented the world's neglect of his talents. His accomplishments are small, but he does not think them so: he knows good art when he sees i t ; he has accumulated certain rare objects, a c o l l e c t i o n that.:_his shrewdness (not his purse) made possible; he can turn an insincere compliment or pen a sonnet which i s "correct and ingenious" (Portrait, I I , 11), though passionless. The sym- bolism i m p l i c i t i n Osmond's patient copying of the antique coin while Isabel announces her momentous decision to go to Ralph at Gardencourt i s heavy with significance (Portrait, I I , 351 f f . ) : his attention i s focused (as i t always is) on money, the subject of his painting; he i s merely copying the design of the coin, not creating a fresh one (for a s t e r i l e mind cannot create); f i n a l l y , his absorption i s t o t a l and 7 excludes his wife. Osmond i s not happy i n his marriage to Isabel. She does not defer to him i n a l l things as he had expected. That "sense of success—the most agreeable emotion of the -75- human heart" (Portrait, I I , 11), i n which he luxuriated dur- ing t h e i r courtship does not increase. In fa c t , he grows to hate her as he r e a l i z e s her disdain for the narrowness of his ideas. Almost alone i n the press of c r i t i c s the f a i r - minded Dorothea Krook defends Osmond: "He had c e r t a i n l y not g been a mere adventurer who was marrying her for her money." She i n s i s t s "his main reason for wanting to marry her was, simply, that he l i k e d her; that he found her r e a l l y charm- ing and graceful . . . that he was i n f a c t , to his capacity, 9 i n love with Isabel—genuinely, even ardently, i n love." James's great point surely i s that Osmond's "capacity" to love i s s i n f u l l y small; that i n marrying so vibrant and free a creature as Isabel, and i n imposing his w i l l on her, he did her grievous harm. Nevertheless, Osmond's own disillusionment and r e c o i l are considerable (though very few readers care). Osmond clings to the empty form that i s his marriage, protesting to Isabel that t h e i r only solution " i s i n l i v i n g decently together, i n spite of such drawbacks {[as t h e i r mutual disillusionment, horror, and suspicion]" (Portrait, I I , 357). He says, "I think we should accept the consequences of our actions, and what I value most i n l i f e i s the honour of a thing" (Portrait, I I , 356). Isabel c o r r e c t l y perceives t h i s to be "blasphemous sophistry" (Portrait, I I , 356), but re a l i z e s that he i s sincere, that he i s drawing heavily on his code of conduct and t r y i n g to explain i t to her. Osmond i s sincere, but he i s wrong. Observing the forms i s not -76- enough. It i s what he has done a l l his l i f e and i t has made him what he i s : a creature a l l surface, a man whose strength of w i l l i s s u f f i c i e n t to darken the l i v e s of those he holds in t h r a l l , a man without a soul. I t i s not su r p r i s i n g that James's di l e t t a n t e - g i g o l o figures are not portrayed as admirable men, but neither are his men of action. James's p o r t r a i t s of American businessmen are f a r from f l a t t e r i n g . As he probes t h e i r goals and moti- vations, James shows that the man of action, as represented by the American businessman, i s doomed to f a i l u r e as well . This i s largely because of a lack of v i s i o n , a narrowness begotten i n what James considered the narrow, vulgar world of getting and spending. His e a r l i e s t novel about a busi- nessman, The American (1877), gives indications of what i s to come, for Christopher Newman i s somewhat naive and expects money to smooth his path, but Newman i s largely an amiable figure nevertheless. On the other hand, Adam Verver of The Golden Bowl i s an ambiguous and often s i n i s t e r charac- te r . F i n a l l y , Abel Gaw and Horton Vint of The Ivory Tower (James's l a s t words on the American businessman) are unre- lieved and unambiguous studies i n chicanery. James seems to be saying that such men are dangerous and powerful because of t h e i r money, but that t h e i r power ddes not bring happi- ness. In f a c t , the most common mistake his American business- men make i s to t r y to buy happiness, and, most p a r t i c u l a r l y , love. -77- Christopher Newman i s James's f i r s t p o r t r a i t of the American businessman. In him James emphasizes such po s i - t i v e t r a i t s as generosity, candour, modesty, perseverence, and a sense of humour. He has as wel l , i t i s true, a cer- t a i n degree of provincialism, and his s o c i a l naivete^is the occasion for much of the humour of the novel. For example, his explanation to the a r i s t o c r a t i c Bellegardes of the o r i - gins of his wealth i s superb: "I've been i n everything... ,. . At one time I sold leather; at one time I manufactured wash- tubs. . . . I l o s t money on wash-tubs, but I came out pretty square i n l e a t h e r . " 1 0 As F. 0. Matthiessen points out, Newman comes to Europe with a "quiet eagerness for wider experience", i n sharp contrast to Adam Verver's grandiose scheme to r i f l e the Golden I s l e s . 1 1 There i s nothing at a l l s i n i s t e r about Newman. His money does not give him power over other people. He spends much of the novel under the impression that his money has elevated him s o c i a l l y to something approaching the l e v e l of the Bellegardes, but th i s i l l u s i o n proves quite f a l s e . I t i s the sight of Newman i n a l l his innocent gaucherie at t h e i r grand b a l l , naked of orders, t i t l e s , and aplomb among the cream of French society that determines the Bellegardes to withdraw t h e i r agreement to the proposed marriage of C l a i r e and Newman. They cannot see past t h e i r inherited prejudices and s o c i a l d i s t i n c t i o n s to r e a l i z e the fin e character of the man they scorn. -78- I t i s i n his attitude to the woman he loves that Newman most distinguishes himself. As a lover Newman i s passionate and f a i t h f u l . Once he has met C l a i r e his only thought i s to persuade her and her family to agree to t h e i r marriage. The section of the novel during which Newman i s courting C l a i r e and luxuriating i n his love reveals much of his character. He i s not, for example, a sentimental man: "He f l a t t e r e d himself he had not f a l l e n . . . i n love. . . . That state, he considered, was too consistent with a s i n i n i t y , and he had never had a f i n e r control of reason or a higher opinion of his judgment" (Amer., p. 239). Nor i s there anything of the manipulator i n Newman. C l a i r e pleases him exactly as she i s , and he seeks only to interpose between her and the trou- bles of l i f e (Amer., p. 240). Newman does not try to buy Clair e ' s love, but i t i s his money which, for a time, buys him acceptance with her haughty family. Their e f f o r t s to force t h i s vigorous repre- sentative of the democracy to acknowledge just how fortunate he i s to be recognized as a suit o r for the hand of a B e l l e - garde are extremely amusing. Newman does not understand, i s vaguely aware that he may be being snubbed, but considers i t irr e l e v a n t . When Urbain de Bellegarde asks i f he under- stands the family's p o s i t i o n he r e p l i e s : "Oh no, not quite--or perhaps not at a l l . . . . But you needn't mind that. I don't care whether -79- I know—or even, r e a l l y , care, I think, what you say; for i f I did there might be things I shouldn't l i k e , should i n fa c t , quite d i s l i k e , and that wouldn't s u i t me at a l l , you know. I want . . . to marry your s i s t e r and nobody other whomsoever — t h a t ' s a l l ; to do i t as quickly as possible and to do as l i t t l e else among you besides. I don't care therefore how I do i t — a s regards the rest of you! And that's a l l I have to say" (Amer., p. 226). The scene most c h a r a c t e r i s t i c of Newman's dealings with the family i s that e a r l i e r one i n which he triumphs over i t s flinty-e y e d matriarch. He t e l l s her he seeks her daughter i n marriage and asks her approval: "You don't know what you ask. I'm a very proud and meddlesome old person." "Well, I'm very r i c h , " he returned with a world of desperate intention. She fixed her eyes on the f l o o r , and he thought i t probable she was weighing the reasons i n favour of resenting his so calculated d i r e c t - ness. But at l a s t looking up, "How ric h ? " she simply a r t i c u l a t e d (Amer., p. 197). -80- Christopher Newman i s , ultimately,,not r i c h enough. The Bellegardes cannot countenance the entry into t h e i r ancient l i n e of so raw and gauche a man, and so Newman i s doomed to despair and disillusionment. The bribe, from the 12 Bellegardes' point of view, i s not big enough. What hap- pens, James may have wondered, when the bribe i_s big enough; when, i n fac t , i t i s boundless? Such i s the case with Adam Verver, who has not mi l l i o n s but b i l l i o n s . With his bland assumptions, fabulous wealth, and genial c h i l d l i k e manner, Adam Verver i s James's most ambiguous por- t r a i t of the American businessman. F. O. Matthiessen detects i n him a "lack of congruity between the environment which would have produced a character and the t r a i t s which 13 the author has imputed to him." In other words, a man who i s a self-made m u l t i - b i l l i o n a i r e i n the hard world of Ameri- can business i s not normally the kind of person who would claim, with a resigned sigh, i n private l i f e , "He had f a t a l l y stamped h i m s e l f — i t was his own f a u l t — a man who could be interrupted with impunity" (Bowl, I, 127). Again and again James claims for Adam q u a l i t i e s of tr u s t , c h i l d l i k e good f a i t h , utter s i n c e r i t y . Yet th i s i s the same man who remem- bers his years of ac q u i s i t i o n thus: "he had believed he l i k e d transcendent c a l c u l a t i o n and imaginative gambling a l l for themselves, the creation of 'interests' that were the extinctio n of other i n t e r e s t s , the l i v i d v u l g a r i t y , even, of getting i n , or getting out, f i r s t " (Bowl, I, 144). These -81- — t h e ruthless i n s t i n c t s of a sharp d e a l e r — i l l accord with the ingenuous t r a i t s James attributes to Adam i n private l i f e . Verver"s business deals were less respectable than those of Christopher Newman and made him i n f i n i t e l y richer."'"' While Newman's only f a u l t was a kind of breezy f o r t h r i g h t - ness—and i t only seemed a f a u l t i n the s t i l t e d salons of the Paris aristocracy—Adam Verver i s a much more complex man; his f a u l t s less obvious but more serious. What Adam Verver does, very simply, i s buy a handsome I t a l i a n Prince to be his daughter's husband, and a b e a u t i f u l young American woman to be his wife. Verver's son-in-law muses very early i n the novel about what w i l l be expected of him i n his new r e l a t i o n s h i p , wondering "Who but a b i l - l i o n a i r e could say what was f a i r exchange for a b i l l i o n ? " (Bowl, I, 24). The day has been spent with lawyers and marriage contracts, and here the Prince may be understood to be l i t e r a l l y naming his price. So astronomical a figure might well make one uneasy! The whole question of equating money with loving ser- vices rendered i s extremely prominent i n the novel, as i s the pervasive theme of fusing or confusing the aesthetic and moral senses. Adam has t h i s l a t t e r f a u l t i n abundance, and James comments on i t when Adam i s considering Charlotte's contributions to the family group before t h e i r marriage; "Nothing perhaps might a f f e c t us as queerer, had we time to look into i t , than t h i s application of the same measure of -82- value to such d i f f e r e n t pieces of property as old Persian carpets, say, and new human acquisitions. . . . I t was a l l , at bottom, i n him, the aesthetic p r i n c i p l e planted where i t could burn with a cold s t i l l flame" (Bowl, I, 196-97). Adam thus appraises Charlotte, and s i m i l a r l y judges Amerigo: Representative precious objects . . . had for a number of years so m u l t i p l i e d themselves around him . . . that the i n s t i n c t , the p a r t i c u l a r sharpened appetite of the c o l l e c t o r , had f a i r l y served as a basis for his acceptance of the Prince's s u i t . Over and above the signal fact of the impres- sion made on Maggie hers e l f , the aspirant to his daughter's hand showed somehow the great marks and signs, stood before him with the high authen- t i c i t i e s , he had learnt to look for i n pieces of the f i r s t order (Bowl, I, 140). It i s , therefore, as objets d'art that Charlotte and Amerigo are added to the Verver c o l l e c t i o n . Adam's a c q u i s i t i v e aesthetic i n s t i n c t i s just one mani- fes t a t i o n of his control over the l i v e s of those who l i v e with him. When he wants a fine object or a fin e person he simply buys i t . Yet he pretends that his vast fortune makes him no d i f f e r e n t from other men: "His greatest inconvenience f -83- he would have admitted had he analyzed, was i n finding i t so taken for granted that as he had money he had force. I t pressed upon him hard a l l around assuredly, t h i s a t t r i b u t i o n of power. Everyone had need of one's power, whereas one's own need, at the best, would have seemed to be but some t r i c k of not communicating i t " (Bowl, I, 130-31). This i s self-deprecating nonsense. Adam i s extremely powerful because everyone wants his money and must please him i n order to get and keep i t . Adam has the power and, moreover, he knows how to wield i t . B l a i r G. Kenney c a l l s him one of James's "Grand Old Men of business, the i r o n i c and complex figures . . . who have made t h e i r money and now wish to atone for the making. Their enormous and ruthless e f f o r t seems to have drained them of l i f e , so that although . . . they show a generalized kindliness, they are also i n e f f e c t u a l i n human r e l a t i o n - 15 ships." Kenney's analysis i n inadequate: Adam only seems gentle and i n e f f e c t u a l as long as he i s pleased with the course of events and the manner i n which others conduct themselves. When Adam i s displeased, those same ruthless i n s t i n c t s which won him his fortune reawaken. Adam's c r i s i s occurs during that l a s t summer the four spend at Fawns, his rented country-house. By some means and at some time not s p e c i f i e d to the reader Adam learns of the adulterous relationship between his wife and his daughter's husband. His drama i s presented only through Maggie's v i s i o n -84- of her father's trouble (and Maggie i s by no means a t o t a l l y r e l i a b l e narrator). However, Adam appears to be taking a long time reviewing his al t e r n a t i v e s : "the l i t t l e medita- t i v e man i n the straw hat kept coming into view with his indescribable a i r of weaving his s p e l l , weaving i t o f f there by himself. In whatever quarter of the horizon the appearances were scanned he was to be noticed as absorbed in t h i s occupation" (Bowl, I I , 284). Once he has decided what to do about his straying wife and the danger she poses to his daughter's happiness, Adam begins to grow more and more s i n i s t e r . Maggie looks at him and imagines that he says to her (their i n t u i t i o n s being so pe r f e c t l y attuned to one another): "Yes, you s e e — I lead jcharlottej now by the neck, I lead her to her doom, and she doesn't so much as know what i t i s , though she has a fear i n her heart which, i f you had the chances to apply your ear there that I, as a husband, have, you would hear i t thump and thump and thump. She thinks i t may be, her doom, the awful place over t h e r e — awful for her, but she's a f r a i d to ask, don't.you see? just as she's a f r a i d of not asking; just as she's a f r a i d of so many other things that she sees mu l t i p l i e d a l l about her now as p e r i l s and portents" (Bowl, I I , 287-88). -85- Such smug i n f e r n a l glee and cold-blooded appraisal of Char- l o t t e ' s t e r r o r show how l i t t l e she means to Adam; the sexual reference i s appalling (given i t s context). Adam i s a thoroughly d i s i l l u s i o n e d man, but one cannot p i t y him because he seems reprehensible i n the delight he takes i n forci n g Charlotte to do his w i l l . 1 * ' Adam does what i s necessary when he takes Charlotte to his museum at American City; he breaks up the eternal quad- rangle. He does so only at great cost to himself and Mag- gie, for they w i l l never meet again, and his r e l a t i o n s h i p 17 with Maggie was the most important thing i n his l i f e . American City w i l l be e x i l e for him as well as for Charlotte, but at lea s t he has the luxury of choosing i t . The novel's conclusion—the breakup of the quadrangle--is probably the most c h i l l i n g and comprehensive renunciation scene i n a l l the James canon. Everyone has l o s t something v i t a l , and what each has salvaged i s very q u a l i f i e d , indeed. As for Adam, the power of his money as a bribe or temptation went far to cause the i n i t i a l trouble, but i t was also e f f i c a - 18 cious i n ending i t . I f , as so many c r i t i c s claim, i t i s "love" which restores order at the novel's conclusion, returning to Maggie her husband and to Adam his wife, i t i s love of Adam's money. Greed for a share i n Adam's fabulous fortune i s ultimately s u f f i c i e n t to ensure decorous behavior on the part of the straying spouses. -86- The Golden Bowl reveals Adam Verver to be a man astute i n economic matters but hopelessly naive i n private l i f e . He prefers to enjoy l i f e i n a vague, easy-going, and benevo- lent manner, but, when driven to the wall, i s capable of vicious and s k i l l f u l r e t a l i a t i o n . His t o t a l absorption i n aesthetic questions and neglect of human ones makes him detached, other-worldly. He i s not a convincing or r e a l i s t i c p o r t r a i t of the American businessman. In his unfinished novel, The Ivory Tower, James f i n a l l y and unequivocally admits that money cannot buy happiness or love or even the i l l u s i o n s of having them. Furthermore, the mere fact of possessing an enormous fortune i s demonstrably wearing on the human s p i r i t . In The Ivory Tower money i s l i t e r a l l y a legacy of unhappiness. Two of the American busi- nessmen i n the novel, Abel Gaw and Horton Vint, are the l o g i c a l products of a society i n which money i s the only god. While Adam Verver i s ambiguous and s i n i s t e r , there i s nothing at a l l ambiguous about Abel Gaw. He i s a. mere c a r i - cature, and B l a i r G. Kenney i s rig h t i n c l a s s i f y i n g him as "the man who i s l i t e r a l l y i d e n t i f i e d with his money to the 19 point that he exists only i n r e l a t i o n to i t . " Gaw i s s i n i s t e r too, but when we meet him he i s so shrunken, old, and f r a g i l e that he no longer wields the power of his money (like Adam Verver did, for example). But as James's l a s t p o r t r a i t of a m i l l i o n a i r e , Abel Gaw i s enlightening. He has become monomaniacal about his money or, rather, about -87- his f i n a n c i a l r i v a l r y with Mr. Betterman, his erstwhile f r i e n d and business partner. As the novel opens, Betterman i s dying and Gaw i s perched l i k e a vulture on Betterman's verandah longing for that death. Gaw passionately wants to know how much money Betterman has bequeathed i n his w i l l so that he can more accurately calculate how much Betterman swindled from him before the di s s o l u t i o n of t h e i r former association. The novel begins, then, with a hard, dry-eyed look at money; how i t can be accumulated and how a love of i t can breed corruption i n the human s p i r i t . Gaw's daughter Rosanna believes that his money has destroyed him. She elaborates: "Having to do with i t con- s i s t s , you know, of the things you do for i t — w h i c h are mostly very awful; and there are a l l kinds of consequences that they eventually have. You pay by these consequences for what you have done, and my father has been for a long time paying. . . . The e f f e c t has been to dry up his 20 l i f e . " Gaw c e r t a i n l y i s presented as a man whose l i f e has dried up. According to most outward manifestations he seems already dead: he i s wizened, grim, yellow, s i l e n t . Nor has he any inward l i f e at a l l . His mental landscape i s a l l monomania about the ancient feud with Betterman relieve d by a single patch of colour: Gaw loves, aft e r his inadequate fashion, his huge, ungainly daughter Rosanna: . . . i t had come to him that she represented quantity and mass, that there was a great deal -88- of her, so that she would have pressed down even a balance appointed to weigh b u l l i o n ; and as there was nothing he was fonder of than such attestations of value, he had r e a l l y ended by drawing closer to her • . . and by finding coun- tenance i n the breadth of personal and s o c i a l shadow that she projected (Tower, p. 9). Gaw i s a very old man whose mind turns on money, but The Ivory Tower also provides a glimpse of a younger counter- part i n Horton Vint. In his p o r t r a i t of the l a t t e r James planned to show exactly what one did to gain a large f o r - tune, planned to demonstrate the truth of Rosanna"s seemingly 21 extravagant and near-hysterical denunciation of money. Horton Vint i s , above a l l , a clear-headed businessman. He knows exactly what he wants and i s d i r e c t i n his pursuit of i t . Near the beginning of the novel, for example, Rosanna r e f l e c t s on how he once unsuccessfully proposed marriage to her, knowing she was her father's only heir (Tower, pp. 55- 58). L i t t l e daunted, Vint goes on to i n g r a t i a t e himself with a much more credulous victim, Gray F i e l d e r , the i n e f f e c - t u a l heir to Betterman's fortune. Ironies accumulate, for Gray and Horton ("Haughty") Vint had been boyhood friends, had hiked i n the Oberland, had on the same day saved one another's l i v e s i n two successive climbing accidents. -89- In the projected novel, Horton Vint gains power of attorney over Gray F i e l d e r ' s fortune: "Gray f a l l s into the pos i t i o n , under a f e e l i n g insurmountably d i r e c t i n g him, of signing anything, everything, that Horton brings to him for the purpose—but only what Horton brings" (Tower, p. 312). Horton begins to have money of his own from mysterious sources; i t becomes apparent that he i s swindling his old fri e n d . F i n a l l y , i n what James l i t e r a l l y c a l l s "The Big Haul" (Tower, p. 34 3), Vint l i e s to Gray, claiming to have l o s t Gray's fortune through investments i n which he, Vint, was swindled by unscrupulous (unspecified) f i n a n c i a l advisors. Gray t a c i t l y permits t h i s crime, i s relieve d to be r i d of the money, refuses to question Vint, and even l i e s to others to save Vint's good name. Thus Betterman's legacy has brought b i t t e r knowledge to Gray F i e l d e r , and has also been the occasion of Vint's show- ing of what despicable deceits he i s capable. Betterman had gained the fortune i n i t i a l l y by swindling Gaw, and that crime i s duplicated when the tainted money becomes Gray's inheritance. James c l e a r l y despises Vint and considers him a man of no honour. Love of money has made him what he i s , dried up every virtue he may once have had. He i s thus no d i f f e r e n t morally from the unregenerate Abel Gaw. Ruthless i n s t i n c t s begotten i n the hard business world have over- whelmed a l l more generous impulses he may once have possessed. -90- James's businessmen thus i l l u s t r a t e James's deepening d i s t r u s t of big business and new money over the length of his career. Breezy, likeable Christopher Newman i s suc- ceeded by men l i k e Adam Verver, whose money represents r e a l and sometimes s i n i s t e r power. Ultimately i n The Ivory Tower (with i t s added emphasis of a l l l a s t things), James shows that the American businessman i s u t t e r l y contemptible, mono- maniacal i n his pursuit of the Yankee d o l l a r , climbing roughshod over anyone who gets i n his way. Because of his unassuageable greed he i s not happy, and he brings misery to others as well. A l a s t group of men portrayed i n the f i c t i o n are quite as unhappy as the businessmen and opportunists but a s i g n i f i - cant exception to the generalization that James's men are less i n t e r e s t i n g , less worthy, less high-principled than his women. Such an exception i s Lambert Strether of The Ambassa- dors . He i s the most remarkable of a group comprising such male characters as Ralph Touchett and Rowland Ma l l e t t , and who have i n common t r a i t s of benevolence and an i n t e r e s t i n the l i v e s of others so intense that i t v i r t u a l l y amounts to l i v i n g v i c a r i o u s l y through them. These characters are diam- metrically opposed to the opportunist figures l i k e Osmond and Prince Amerigo, for they actually renounce the g l i t t e r i n g opportunities which seem to l i e almost within t h e i r grasp. Strether i s the most impressive of these figures and w i l l -91- serve to i l l u s t r a t e the p a r t i c u l a r kind of unhappiness inherent i n the l i v e s of such men i n James's f i c t i o n . Strether begins his adventure i n Paris f u l l of the vaguely uneasy awareness that he has never before so relaxed, enjoyed l i f e , taken i n such d e l i g h t f u l impressions, met such dazzling and i n t e r e s t i n g people. Such experiences simply did not b e f a l l him i n c u l t u r a l l y disadvantaged Woollett, Massachusetts, where he has heretofore spent his uneventful l i f e as the editor of a modest l i t e r a r y review and where, l a t e l y , he has begun a discreet courtship of the mature, austere widow who v i r t u a l l y owns the town. The idea that he has wasted his l i f e , that the v i s i o n has come but a l l too late for him at f i f t y - f i v e grows i n him and reaches i t s f u l l expression i n his impassioned speech to L i t t l e Bilham 22 at G l o r iani's garden party. Strether seeks to ease his personal disappointment by immersing himself sympathetically i n the concerns of others —most es p e c i a l l y i n those of Chad. He has a fi x e d idea from which he draws immense comfort: that i s i n the "virtuous attachment" of Chad and Madame de Vionnet. Strether sees great improvements i n Chad and believes they are a l l a t t r i b u - table to the influence of t h i s cultured, a r i s t o c r a t i c P a r i s i - enne. Chad's friends i n Paris t a c i t l y j o i n i n a charitable conspiracy to reinforce Strether"s fond i l l u s i o n that the relationship i s platonic. For a time Strether's fostered ignorance i s the basis of his enthusiastic response to Paris. -92- In actual fact he i s f a l l i n g i n love with Paris and with Marie de Vionnet. The reader p i t i e s Strether for the narrowness of his past experience, and rejoices i n his modest f l i g h t s of imagination i n France. This i s why the scene at the r i v e r i s so powerful, and why the shock and i t s aftermath for Strether are so moving. Strether has been having a holiday, roaming quite alone i n the French countryside and r e j o i c i n g i n the sensation that he i s l i v i n g inside the frame of a sun- dappled picture by Lambinet that he had once longed to buy years ago i n Boston (Ambass., I I , 245 f f . ) . He had been unable to buy the picture for i t was too expensive, but he never forgot i t . And now everything on t h i s day of days con- tributes to his innocent pleasure, from the absurd f e e l i n g he has on a l i g h t i n g from the t r a i n absolutely at whim ("the t r a i n pulled up just at the r i g h t spot, and he found himself getting out as securely as i f to keep an appointment" [Ambass., II , 246]), to his delight i n the compositional q u a l i t i e s of the l i g h t s , shadows, and colours around him. S t i l l i n t h i s exalted, aesthetic state of mind he turns his attention to the r i v e r : What he saw was exactly the ri g h t t h i n g — a boat advancing round the bend and containing a man who held the paddles and a lady, at the stern, with a pink parasol. It was suddenly as i f these figures, -93- or something l i k e them, had been wanted i n the picture, had been wanted more or less a l l day, and had now d r i f t e d into sight, with the slow current, on purpose to f i l l up the measure (Ambass., I I , 256). These are the two people with whom fate has decreed that Strether has an appointment, for they are the very two who can destroy his i l l u s i o n s and his happiness merely by d r i f t - ing into view. The couple on the r i v e r are Chad and Marie de Vionnet. Their circumstances make i t apparent, even to innocent Strether, that they intend to spend several days i n the country together. A l l three chatter to cover t h e i r confu- sion and Strether maintains his composure u n t i l much l a t e r that night when he i s at l a s t alone i n his hotel room. Then he f i n a l l y faces a l l the implications of what he has seen and faces, most of a l l , his own i s o l a t i o n , musing "There was the element of the awkward a l l round, but Chad and Madame de Vionnet had at least the comfort that they could t a l k i t over together. With whom could he t a l k of such things?" (Ambass., I I , 266). Strether embraces t h i s sense of i s o l a t i o n as i f i t were no more than he deserves. He feels he has been a f o o l . ("He was mixed up with the t y p i c a l t a l e of Paris" QVmbass., I I , 27lJ.) His gnawing American moral sense begins to work i n -94- him and he re a l i z e s he must give up Paris, give up a l l his exc i t i n g friends, return to d u l l Woollett and take up his l i f e there. He embarks on a series of p a i n f u l leave-takings. Madame de Vionnet seems to him p i t i f u l , f r a g i l e , doomed. Chad has a new swagger and seems sure to desert Marie for advertising ventures i n Woollett. In his l a s t interview with Maria Gostrey Strether makes the clearest statement of his renunciation. He says he i s leaving Paris and leaving her "To be r i g h t . . . . That, you see, i s my only l o g i c . Not, out of the whole a f f a i r , to have got anything for my- s e l f " (Ambass., I I , 236). The cosy l i f e Strether might have l i v e d with Maria Gos- trey and her Delft was not r e a l l y the temptation i t might seem. Maria was comfortable and endlessly understanding, but only Marie de Vionnet enchanted Strether. He could not compromise h i s id e a l by marrying a lesser woman. On the other hand, Marie was now for him a flawed i d e a l , and Strether could not st e a d i l y contemplate either that fact nor Marie's impending betrayal by Chad and her dis i n t e g r a t i o n sure to follow upon i t . Gallant and humane to the l a s t , Strether does what he can—reassuring Marie of his regard for her ("You're wonderful!" [*Ambass. , I I , 388]), t r y i n g to influence Chad to stay with her, and breaking gently with Maria Gostrey. The r e a l temptation for Strether i s not to marry Maria Gos- trey, but to shut his eyes to the cold moral implications of Chad's s i t u a t i o n and to stay on i n Paris eating lotoses forever. -95- Unlike such grasping egocentric characters as Osmond and Prince Amerigo, Strether charms by the utter modesty of his requirements from l i f e . He asks so l i t t l e and i s pleased so e a s i l y . His delight i n his impressions of Paris i s intense, c h i l d l i k e and bittersweet with i t s constant r e f r a i n of "Too l a t e ! " Nor, for a time, does i t r e a l l y seem to be too l a t e for Strether; i n fact Paris seems to function for him as a fountain of youth. He remarks to Maria Gostrey: "I don't get drunk; I don't pursue the la d i e s ; I don't spend money; I don't even write sonnets. But nevertheless I'm making up late for what I didn't have early. I c u l t i v a t e my l i t t l e bene- f i t i n my own way . . . i t ' s my surrender, i t ' s my t r i b u t e , to youth. One puts that i n where one can--it has to come i n somewhere, i f only out of the l i v e s , the conditions, the feelings of other persons" (Ambass., I I , 50-51). Since his happiness i s based on his i l l u s i o n s about Chad and Madame de Vionnet, his enlightenment about them destroys i t u t t e r l y . His knowledge makes i t impossible to stay on i n Paris and his renunciation i s i t s natural consequence. Strether's disillusionment makes a great difference i n his l i f e since i t compels him to return to the s t e r i l i t y of l i f e at Woollett. The unhappiness experienced by James's -96- other male characters i s not as overwhelming. Also, because few of the other male characters are as engaging as Strether, the reader does not sympathize with t h e i r sorrows to the degree possible with Strether and the female characters. The American businessmen tend to be grasping, narrow-minded and obsessed with t h e i r money and power. Christopher Newman i s the only example of such a man who i s admirable. A l l the others have untenable standards of values which make them unsympathetic characters: Adam Verver confuses moral and aesthetic values; Abel Gaw i s u t t e r l y one dimensional i n his monomaniacal regard for money; and Horton Vint does not hesitate to perpetrate enormous frauds against an old f r i e n d to gain his fortune. Thus the various disappointments of such men--for example, t h e i r sorrow at the discovery that money cannot buy love--evoke l i t t l e compassion from the reader. S i m i l a r l y such opportunists as Prince Amerigo and G i l b e r t Osmond cause more pain than they themselves suffer. James's chief observation about the l i v e s of such men seems to be that they are empty and meaningless. They are doomed to t h e i r various disappointments because of inner promptings, lack of v i s i o n , and u n r e a l i s t i c goals. Their l i v e s are s t e r i l e i n ways that the women's l i v e s are not. James's women are t y p i c a l l y intense, e f f u s i v e , vibrant, and sympathetic while his men are indolent and comparatively t a c i t u r n . Strether i s l i k e a b l e because he has those q u a l i - t i e s more commonly associated with James's women: a ready -97- sympathy, a l i v e l y imagination, and the a b i l i t y to throw himself whole-heartedly into experience. I t might j u s t i f i - ably be said that Strether's i s a feminine consciousness. However, the possession of a feminine consciousness i s no guarantee of happiness and, indeed, tends to produce unhappiness. Such a person wrings more sensation and f e e l - ing out of d a i l y experience than does an ordinary person. He feels things more keenly and suffers more intensely. Such i s the case with Strether and with the female characters. But whichever type of consciousness James's characters pos- sess, whether austere and reserved or open and impression- able, most of them f a i l to make anything of l a s t i n g value from t h e i r experiences; they can only suffer and submit. Only James's a r t i s t figures succeed i n l i f e because only they transmute everyday experience—even p a i n f u l experience — i n t o triumphant art. -93- Notes to Chapter Two ''"Dorothea Krook, pp. 296-99, c a l l s t h i s incontrovertible evidence that the rel a t i o n s h i p with Charlotte was " l u s t " not love. 2 Merle's extenuating circumstances—her concern for Pansy i s not relevant here. The point i s that Merle knew Isabel would be unhappy with Osmond but did not care. Fanny thought only of her proteges' happiness. 3 Cf. Oscar C a r g i l l , The Novels of Henry James, pp. 86-88; J. A. Ward, The Imagination of Disaster; E v i l i n the F i c t i o n of Henry James (Lincoln: Univ. of Nebraska Press, 1961), pp. 51-53; and L y a l l H. Powers, "The P o r t r a i t of a Lady," NCF, 14 (1959), rpt. i n Henry James's Major Novels: Essays i n C r i t i c i s m , ed. L y a l l H. Powers (East Lansing: Michigan State Univ. Press, 1973), pp. 76-78. ^Charles Thomas Samuels, The Ambiguity of Henry James (Urbana: Univ. of I l l i n o i s Press, 1971), pp. 109-12. 5 C f . also Ross Labrie, "Morality of Consciousness," p. 417. -99- bManfred Mackenzie, "Ironic Melodrama i n The P o r t r a i t of a Lady," MFS, 12 (Spring, 1966), rpt. i n Twentieth Century Interpretations of "The P o r t r a i t of a Lady": A C o l l e c t i o n of C r i t i c a l Essays, ed. Peter Buitenhuis (Englewood C l i f f s , N. J . : Prentice-Hall, 1968), pp. 84-90. 7 Cf. Dorothy Van Ghent, "From The English Novel: Form and Function" (New York: Holt, Rinehart, Winston, 1953), rpt. i n Perspectives on "The P o r t r a i t of a Lady," ed. William T. Stafford (New York: New York Univ. Press, 1967), p. 128. Dorothea Krook, The Ordeal of Consciousness, p. 51. 9 Ibid., p. 52. 1 0Henry James, The American (New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1907), pp. 123-24- A l l further references are to t h i s e d ition of the novel and w i l l be included i n the text. 1 1 F . 0. Matthiessen, Henry James: The Major Phase (New York: Oxford Univ. Press, 1963), p. 88. 12 James ultimately came to think i t an "affront to v e r i - s i m i l i t u d e " that he did not portray such avaricious creatures as the Bellegardes as e n t h u s i a s t i c a l l y s e i z i n g any r i c h , stray American. Cf. "Preface to The American," p. x i x - x x i . 1 3 F . 0. Matthiessen, The Major Phase, p. 90. -100- 14 Jan W. Dietrichson, "Part I I : The Image of Money i n the Works of Henry James," i n The Image of Money i n the American Novel of the Gilded Age (Oslo: U n i v e r s i t e t s f o r l g e t , and New York: Humanities Press, 1969), pp. 87-88. 15 B l a i r G. Kenney, "Henry James's Businessmen," Colby Library Quart., 9 (March, 1970), 49. "^Cf. Caroline Gordon, p. 44. Her "archetypal" reading of the s i l k e n h a l t e r scene, with Charlotte as "harpy" and Adam as St. George i s not tenable. "Mr. Verver,.Our National Hero," Sewanee Review, 63 (1955). 17 Samuels, The Ambiguity of Henry James, pp. 220-22, does not r e a l l y make a case for Adam's being t r u l y interested i n Charlotte. 18 Caroline Gordon, Dorothea Krook, Munro Beattie, etc. 19 B l a i r G. Kenney, "Henry James's Businessmen," p. 49. 20 Henry James, The Ivory Tower (New York: Charles Scrib- ner's Sons, 1917), p. 141. A l l further references are to t h i s e d i t i o n of the novel and w i l l be included i n the text. 21 The novel was unfinished, but James's notes for i t sur- vive and are published, along with the incomplete novel, i n the New York E d i t i o n , Vol. 25. -101- Henry James, The Ambassadors, 2 vols. (New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1909), I, 217-18. A l l further references are to t h i s edition of the novel and w i l l be included i n the text. -102- Chapter Three The A r t i s t i n the F i c t i o n James was convinced that the a r t i s t ' s response to l i f e was the most v a l i d one, i n the sense that i t transforms o r d i - nary and even p a i n f u l experience into serene, eternal a r t . This i s true f u l f i l m e n t and happiness, for i t i s the only sort that l a s t s . James's women seek happiness i n marriage, but f i n d i t a trap; they seek to f u l f i l themselves as wives but discover that they must actually s a c r i f i c e t h e i r i n d i - v i d u a l i t y . James's men are generally more m a t e r i a l i s t i c . They seek the luxury and ease that the possession of a great fortune makes possible. Each learns that money cannot buy everything—neither happiness nor love, for example. As James sees i t , true happiness can only be achieved through the creation of a r t . Only the a r t i s t can be t r u l y happy, and i n order to a t t a i n to that elusive state, he must do the very best work of which he i s capable. But the i d e a l conditions under which the a r t i s t produces his best work are not e a s i l y secured. The l i f e of the a r t i s t i s fraught with p e r i l s . Ordinary l i f e i s a mindless flux , and, i f the a r t i s t i s to impose order on t h i s chaos, he must i s o l a t e himself from ordinary experience. He must commit himself wholly to art as an i d e a l . Yet the a r t i s t must l i v e i n the r e a l world, and thus the c o n f l i c t a r i s e s . James's a r t i s t s are continually torn by the demands made -103- upon them by t h e i r art and those made by l i f e ; some perish i n the struggle. The demands made on the a r t i s t by what one can loosely term " L i f e " are of several kinds, and always presented as persuasive appeals to him to s t e a l some time from his easel or his desk. The most common di s t r a c t i o n s experienced by James's a r t i s t s , the forces which lure them away from the studio or desk, or which tempt them to produce less than t h e i r very best work are those which bedevil non-artists as well. They f a l l i n love and are wracked by doubts as to whether the beloved returns t h e i r a f f e c t i o n ; they marry and have wives and children for whom provision must be made; they must make money; and they must accept or evade the demands of t h e i r public, must contend with those who want to meet them, who want to study greatness at f i r s t hand for serious or fr i v o l o u s reasons. A l l of these are voracious i n t h e i r demands upon the a r t i s t ' s time and energy; they can overwhelm the consciousness and sap the c r e a t i v i t y of a l l but the most wary a r t i s t . The a r t i s t must make choices and s a c r i f i c e s , f o r some of these things have great i n t r i n s i c worth; some l i t t l e or none. Outright r e j e c t i o n of the values of love and marriage, for example, may well diminish the a r t i s t as a person, but to embrace them without thought of his work may be disastrous. These are the prob- lems which i n t e r e s t James. -104- Roderick Hudson was James's.first novel length t r e a t - ment of the problems of the a r t i s t as he i s torn by the demands of l i f e and a r t . Roderick's problems are twofold. F i r s t of a l l , he has the private demon of a recurrent fear that his talent w i l l run dry. This fear i s l i k e a grim pre- monition and time proves i t j u s t i f i e d . 1 However, the theme of the private struggle of the a r t i s t with his muse i s out- side the scope of t h i s study, and i s taken up again by James in such diverse works as "The Madonna of the Future" and "The Real Thing." Roderick's other and more serious problem i s a lack of s e l f - d i s c i p l i n e . Thus even while his period of a r t i s t i c f e r t i l i t y l a s t s , he cannot drive himself to work as he should. He i s consumed by a passion for the complex and b e a u t i f u l C h r i s t i n a Light. She i s a multifaceted woman whose nature i s so complicated that i t constitutes something of an a r t i s t i c flaw i n a novel that i s otherwise a stock romance with stereotyped characters (The Byronic Hero, The Sensible Friend, The P l a i n But Virtuous Truelove, e t c . ) . The novel would have been more coherent had James been con- tent to portray C h r i s t i n a as either a c y n i c a l , professional heartbreaker or a coarse and worthless creature Roderick i d e a l i z e d and worshipped to his damnation. As i t i s , C h r i s t i n a seems legendary, and well worth what she costs 2 Roderick. -105- Roderick loves C h r i s t i n a Light and follows her every- where. She i s l i k e an obsession, and the thought of her drives a l l others from his head. Leon Edel observes: Roderick allows his t e r r i b l e passion to destroy his art. One of James's other heroes had won- dered "whether i t i s better to c u l t i v a t e an art than to c u l t i v a t e a passion." The p o s s i b i l i t y of both i s excluded from the Jamesian world. Roderick Hudson i s the story of an a r t i s t who 3 cu l t i v a t e d a passion. Impl i c i t i n such statements i s the idea that Roderick o r i g i - n a l l y had a choice, that he could have chosen not to f a l l i n love with C h r i s t i n a . However, Roderick's temperament i s such that r a t i o n a l inner debate on such a question would be u t t e r l y foreign to him. In other words, i t i s not f a i r to blame him, since Roderick i s a person of the sort who always acts according to i n s t i n c t , not reason. Roderick Hudson i s James's p o r t r a i t of what i s conven- t i o n a l l y considered to be the a r t i s t i c temperament. Roderick i s handsome, with abundant curly hair and a naturally flam- 4 boyant s t y l e of dress. He i s given to picturesque a t t i - tudes and gestures. Roderick i s extravagant i n a l l things: his happiness i s always e l a t i o n ; his disappointment i s always the blackest despair. For example, the news that C h r i s t i n a has broken her engagement to the prince induces Roderick to -106- lounge h i s t r i o n i c a l l y on a couch i n his darkened bedroom, smelling a large white rose while other roses and v i o l e t s carpet the f l o o r . Rowland's observation about his f r i e n d i n t h i s state i s that he looks l i k e "a Buddhist i n an i n t e l - l e c t u a l swoon" (Rod., p. 394). Roderick t r i e s to be kind to d u l l people, but the e f f o r t c l e a r l y goes against the grain. His reaction to the a r r i v a l of his mother and his fiance*e i n Europe i s charac- t e r i s t i c of t h i s s t r a i n i n him. He i s frank about i t to Rowland: "They bore me to death . . . I'm not complaining of them; I'm simply stating a fa c t . I'm very sorry f o r them . . . Another week of i t and I s h a l l begin to hate them. I s h a l l want to poison them . . . they mean no more to me than a piano means to a pig" (Rod., pp. 355-56). The people around Roderick seem to tole r a t e his arrogant and f a n c i f u l behavior for several reasons. He adds theatre to t h e i r l i v e s and i s , i n cert a i n moods, most di v e r t i n g . Also, everyone believes i n his genius and suffers a certain amount of eccentric behavior because of i t . As for Mrs. Hudson and Mary Garland, they love him and thus forgive a l l his t r e s - passes . In h i s attitude toward his art Roderick most often resem- bles Pegasus hitched to the plow. As long as his i n s p i r a t i o n s -107- l a s t he works exuberantly, but when they f l a g he gives up. The c y n i c a l but successful G l o r i a n i t r i e s to warn him against such passionate excesses, but to no a v a i l (Rod., p. 124). Since Roderick's creative a b i l i t y i s so i n e x t r i c - ably bound up with his emotional state, i t i s not su r p r i s i n g that his passion for Chr i s t i n a Light should a f f e c t i t so r a d i c a l l y . I t i s e n t i r e l y reasonable that his talent (which has been waning and f l a r i n g so e r r a t i c a l l y throughout the novel) should be extinguished forever at the news that Chris- t i n a has married another. Roderick Hudson never achieves what James considered to be that transcendent happiness available only to the a r t i s t — t h e sense of having done the best creative work of which he i s capable. The demands of l i f e , presented to him as love for C h r i s t i n a Light, are too strong. He cannot with- stand them and thus loses his precious g i f t . But Roderick's genius was always so unstable that i t seems probable that he would have surrendered to some other si r e n had he not met Ch r i s t i n a . Throughout the novel Roderick's spectacular but f i t f u l a b i l i t y i s contrasted to that of G l o r i a n i and Sam Singleton. The former i s c y n i c a l l y content to work without i n s p i r a t i o n ; the l a t t e r i s almost i r r i t a t i n g l y industrious, modest, and single-minded i n his worshipful attitude toward his c r a f t . Thus though Roderick's talent was great his a b i l i t y to nourish and safeguard i t was s l i g h t , and so he was destined to f a i l . -108- James was always interested i n examining the problems of the a r t i s t who i s drawn to l i f e (and the myriad demands of love, marriage, p u b l i c i t y , money-making) but who yet wishes to do j u s t i c e to his a r t . Roderick Hudson was destroyed by his i n a b i l i t y to withstand the forces of l i f e . He was swept into the f a t a l whirlpool of hopeless love. Certain other of James's a r t i s t figures meet the challenge of l i f e i n the ordinary world more successfully. In p a r t i c u - l a r James considers t h i s c l a s s i c dilemma i n two tales about a r t i s t s who are w r i t e r s — " T h e Lesson of the Master" and "The Death of the Lion." In these two tales "the a r t i s t ' s problem curiously min- gles i t s e l f with a personal and private dilemma having to do . . . with marriage. A p r i n c i p l e of plot-making so p e r s i s - tent almost i n v i t e s us to seek out a s i g n i f i c a n c e . " ^ The significance i s that James's a r t i s t s are always faced with an "either - or" s i t u a t i o n ; either they can choose to lead a f u l l , r i c h l i f e with marriage, children and f i n a n c i a l obligations, or they can give a l l t h e i r attention and devo- tio n to t h e i r art. The choice i s always one of absolutes, and i s formu- lated by Henry St. George i n "The Lesson of the Master" for the benefit of Paul Overt, the young writer i n whom St. George sees so much promise. The talk has been of the e f f e c t that marriage and domestication can have on the a r t i s t . St. George says: -109- "I've made a great deal of money: my wife has known how to take care of i t , to use i t without wasting i t , to put a good b i t of i t by, to make i t f r u c t i f y . I've got a loaf on the shelf, I've got everything i n fact but the great thing." "The great thing?" Paul kept echoing. "The sense of having done the best--the sense which i s the r e a l l i f e of the a r t i s t and the absence of which i s his death, of having drawn from his i n t e l l e c t u a l instrument the f i n - est music that nature has hidden i n i t , of hav- ing played i t as i t should be played. He either does that or he doesn't—and i f he doesn't he i s n ' t worth speaking of." "The great thing" i s of paramount importance to James, and t h i s account of i t given by St. George can be considered James's own opinion as well. There are i r o n i c implications i n the pl o t of "The Lesson of the Master", e s p e c i a l l y i n St. George's marrying the g i r l Overt loves while Overt i s off devoting himself to his art i n accordance with St. George's earnest advice. Yet the irony does not q u a l i f y t h i s i d e a l i s t i c account of the a r t i s t ' s purpose i n l i f e . Paul Overt protests against St. George's b i t t e r s e l f - c r i t i c i s m , declaring: -110- "You've had the f u l l r i c h masculine human general l i f e , with a l l the r e s p o n s i b i l i t i e s and duties and burdens and sorrows and j o y s — a l l the domestic and s o c i a l i n i t i a t i o n s and complications" ("The Lesson of the Master", p. 72). But St. George i s determined to make his point: "They've given me subjects without number, i f that's what you mean; but they've taken away at the same time the power to use them. I've touched a thousand things, but which one of them have I turned to gold? The a r t i s t has only to do with t h a t — h e knows nothing of any baser metal. I've led the l i f e of the world, with my wife and my progeny; the clumsy, conventional expensive materialised vulgarised b r u t a l i s e d l i f e of London. We've got everything handsome, even a carriage —we're perfect P h i l i s t i n e s and prosperous hos- pit a b l e eminent people. But, my dear fellow, don't t r y to s t u l t i f y yourself and pretend you don't know what we haven't got. It's bigger than a l l the rest. Between artists—come!" the Master wound up. "You know as well as you s i t there that you'd put a p i s t o l b a l l into your brain i f you had written my books!" ("The Lesson of the Master", p. 72). -111- St. George has made his choice between art and the world, and he knows how far he has f a l l e n since his f i r s t three good novels. He has del i b e r a t e l y written for the popular market, wholly prostituted his art to make money and provide for his family. He has enjoyed his worldly l i f e , but i n no way considers that i t compensates him for not having achieved "the great thing". He i s very emphatic in t e l l i n g Overt that marriage and art do not mix. He stub- bornly maintains that the a r t i s t ' s only business i s with the perfection of his ar t . "He has nothing to do with the r e l a - t i v e — h e has only to do with the absolute; and a dear l i t t l e 7 family may represent a dozen r e l a t i v e s " ("The Lesson of the Master", p. 76). James feels that the true a r t i s t must choose to be alone. This choice i s largely a matter of temperament. The predis- position to make renunciations i s ultimately something the a r t i s t either possesses or lacks. In the interests of variety and v e r i s i m i l i t u d e some of James's a r t i s t s i n c l i n e more toward the one choice or the other from the beginning, - some have already made t h e i r choices when the story begins, and for some the d i f f i c u l t y of making the choice constitutes the i n t e r e s t of t h e i r story. Henry St. George chose l i f e g and i t s many demands (perhaps unwittingly ) when he con- tracted his f i r s t marriage, and then de l i b e r a t e l y chooses l i f e again when he marries Marian Fancourt. Paul Overt has his choice made for him by the more warm-blooded St. -112- George, but surely he should know that such a ripe p r i z e as Marian w i l l not keep i n d e f i n i t e l y without any assurances from him. Overt i s too passive to deserve such a woman, and there i s some j u s t i c e i n Munro Beattie's abuse of him: "The lesson of the master i s that for an a r t i s t there can be no lesson where the heart and the s e n s i b i l i t i e s are con- cerned. I f you haven't the gumption to love a woman, don't 9 t r y to make an a r t i s t i c p r i n c i p l e out of your deficiency." N e i l Paraday i s an i n t e r e s t i n g case of the a r t i s t whose choice was made ten years previous to the t e l l i n g of his t a l e . When the young, worshipful narrator meets him, Para- day i s f i f t y years old and convalescing a f t e r a long i l l n e s s . The narrator reports that Paraday, "once t o l d me that he had had no personal l i f e to speak of since his f o r t i e t h year, but had had more than was good for him b e f o r e . " 1 0 He elabo- rates further, "He allowed h a l f h i s income to his wife, from whom he had succeeded i n separating without redundancy of legend. I had a general f a i t h i n his having behaved well, and I had once, i n London, taken Mrs. Paraday down to dinner" ("The Death of the Lion", p. 109). In other words, Paraday has divested himself of his wife and his obligations to her as honourably as possible i n order to devote a l l his energies to his work. Presumably the lady was more trouble than she was worth to him. As the t a l e begins Paraday i s considering the scheme of a new book which he o b l i g i n g l y reads to the narrator. The -113- l a t t e r exclaims i n rapture, "My dear master, how, a f t e r a l l , are you going to do i t ? It's i n f i n i t e l y noble, but what time i t w i l l take, what patience and independence, what assured, what perfect conditions! Oh for a lone i s l e i n a tepid sea!" ("The Death of the Lion", p. 107). This i s what the narrator fi g h t s to keep f o r his i d o l — a serene space i n the midst of a tumultuous world. He struggles against hopeless odds for Paraday's most recent book proves a popular success. I t i s a success only i n the sense that i t catapults i t s author into instant c e l e b r i t y . "His book sold but moderately, . . . but he c i r c u l a t e d i n person to a measure that the l i b r a r i e s might well have envied" ("The Death of the Lion", p. 122). Mr. Paraday has very l i t t l e stamina, and the narrator watches with horror his t r a g i c , headlong d i s i n t e g r a t i o n i n the glare of p u b l i c i t y and at the hands of stupid, demanding people. His sudden l i o n i z a t i o n i s Paraday's second confronta- t i o n with the absolute choice. To steadfastly ignore the clamour of public i n t e r e s t i n his person would require more energy than Paraday possesses. Even the narrator, Paraday's protector, i s i n e f f e c t u a l against i t , though himself a robust man. Despite occasional premonitions of disaster, Paraday succeeds i n r a t i o n a l i z i n g his new s i t u a t i o n . He begins his dance of death f o r t i f i e d with "portable sophis- t r i e s about the nature of the a r t i s t ' s task. Observation too was a kind of work and experience a kind of success; -114- London dinners were a l l material and London ladies were f r u i t f u l t o i l . . . the fatigue had the merit of being of a new sort, while the phantasmagoric town was probably a f t e r a l l less of a b a t t l e f i e l d than the haunted study" ("The Death of the Lion", p. 122). Paraday sounds very l i k e James himself here, for whom i t was c e r t a i n l y true that "London dinners were a l l material and London ladies were f r u i t f u l t o i l . " Ever on the a l e r t for "germs" f o r his s t o r i e s , James did what Paraday only deluded himself into b e l i e v i n g he could do; James actually turned his s o c i a l experiences into novels and t a l e s . James was able to succeed where Paraday f a i l e d because he had a great deal of s e l f - d i s c i p l i n e . Like Paraday, James was very popular. "During the winter of 1878-1879 James, by his own account, dined out 107 times.""'""'" Unlike Paraday, James was pe r f e c t l y capable of declining an i n v i t a t i o n , as when he wrote to S. Colvin on December twenty-sixth, 1895: The great dining-out business has l a t e l y reached a point with me at which I have f e l t that some- thing must be done—that I must i n other words p u l l up. I have been doing i t ni g h t l y since Nov. 1st., and i t has l e f t me with such arrears of occupation on my hands that i t i s imperative f o r 12 me to t r y and use a few evenings to catch up. Paraday was too weak to remove himself from the maelstrom of -115- the London season, and thus his work perished. That Para- day himself l i t e r a l l y perished i s something i n the nature of a grim reminder that James wrote to himself. James believes that the true a r t i s t w i l l overcome the temptations that bedevil him; but to the a r t i s t who does waver, who does s e l l his b i r t h r i g h t , James i s u n f a i l i n g l y understanding. He knows the path of pure art i s as p a i n f u l to t r a v e l as the kni f e - i n f e s t e d pathway to truth discovered by Stephen Crane's wayfarer, and he commiserates with those who say, "Doubtless there are other roads". Extremely a t t r a c t i v e compensations are showered on those who choose to embrace l i f e . In responding to l i f e they often seem to be making the only natural choice. Who would choose to i s o - l ate himself and "hammer out head-achy fancies with a bent back on an ink-stained table" ("The Lesson of the Master", p. 19), when he could have instead the vibrance of Marian Fancourt, the g i r l who expressed herself i n that extraordi- nary and most unJamesian parlour, the room where Paul Overt f e l l i n love?: She was i n a large bright f r i e n d l y occupied room, which was painted red a l l over, draped with . . . quaint cheap f l o r i d s t u f f s . . . and bedecked with pottery of v i v i d hues, ranged on casual shelves, and with many water-colour drawings from the hand . . . of the young lady her s e l f , -116- commemorating . . . the sunsets, the mountains, the temples and palaces of India ("The Lesson of the Master", p. 50). The a r t i s t s who choose l i f e renounce one happiness: they do not have clear consciences. They do not bask i n the knowledge of having done the very best work possible; they have not done, i n St. George's phrase, "the great thing." Paul Overt has t h i s peace but at the cost of any happiness i n his private l i f e . N e i l Paraday's possession of i t i s threatened by his i n a b i l i t y to safeguard his privacy, and thus the conditions under which he can continue to pro- duce his best work are eventually destroyed. To James him- s e l f the knowledge of having done "the great thing" must have been very sweet indeed. To him his New York E d i t i o n was the crown of his l i f e ' s achievements. James's most extended and ambitious f i c t i o n a l considera- t i o n of the problems of the a r t i s t and the c o n f l i c t i n g demands made on him by l i f e and by his art i s set forth i n The Tragic Muse. Miriam Rooth and Nick Dormer are the two a r t i s t s around whom James sought to create a novel. In the preface he explains: I . . . must i n fa c t p r a c t i c a l l y have always had the happy thought of some dramatic picture of the " a r t i s t - l i f e " and of the d i f f i c u l t terms on which i t i s at the best secured and enjoyed, the -117- general question of i t s having to be not altogether e a s i l y paid for. To "do something about a r t " — art, that i s , as a human complication and a s o c i a l stumbling-block—must have been for me early a good deal of a nursed intention, the c o n f l i c t between art and "the world" s t r i k i n g me thus betimes as one of the half-dozen great primary motives (Muse, I, v . ) . In the character of Nick Dormer James portrays the con- f l i c t between art and "the world" i n a l l i t s i n t e n s i t y . In Nick's case the world i s the great world of p o l i t i c s and public acclaim. As the novel begins he i s very divided as to his long term goals i n l i f e . On the one hand he i s about to become a candidate for a seat i n the B r i t i s h par- liament, and he shows a l l the signs of being a b r i l l i a n t successor to his late father, a gentleman knighted for his public service. S i m i l a r l y he i s i n love with the w i l f u l J u l i a Dallow, a b e a u t i f u l young widow of great means, who i s f i e r c e l y ambitious i n her p o l i t i c a l aspirations f o r him. Yet Nick i s also very drawn to the idea of being a career a r t i s t , and i f he had only himself to consider that i s what he would do with his l i f e . However he i s the sole support not only of his two unmarried s i s t e r s but of his widowed mother whose expectations of Nick are exactly l i k e those of J u l i a Dallow. -118- A career as a member of parliament means not only respect and acclaim to Nick, but also involves a great deal of money. Burdened with his family's expectations of him, and with t h e i r l i v e l i h o o d to gain, Nick doubts that he can afford to forego the l a v i s h salary of a member of parliament on the chance that the f i c k l e public w i l l buy the canvases of an unknown painter l i k e himself. There are also two more fortunes beckoning Nick to assume the yoke of public o f f i c e . Mr. Carteret, a l i f e l o n g f r i e n d and admirer of Nick's late father, reveals his intention of s e t t l i n g a handsome fortune on Nick when he demonstrates his intention of following i n his father's footsteps. F i n a l l y , there i s J u l i a — l o v e l y J u l i a — t o whom Nick has but to say the word and he can have her, her estates, her great fortune, and extravagant security for the rest of his l i f e . Was ever the path of duty more c l e a r l y and a t t r a c t i v e l y l a i d out before a man? And for a time Nick s t r i v e s to content himself with i t , campaigning for and winning the seat, making a thoroughly respectable maiden speech, pleasing his starched V i c t o r i a n mother. But eventually Nick decides he can no longer continue the charade. He gives up the seat, takes a studio, makes a clean break with the world of p o l i t i c s . Such a s t a r t l i n g change causes J u l i a to break t h e i r engagement, Lady Agnes (Nick's mother) to v i r t u a l l y stop loving him, and Mr. Car- teret to cut him o f f without a cent. From such a wild -119- bonfire of hopes one expects at least a phoenix. But Nick disappoints. When Nick talks to Biddy about her a r t i s t i c aspirations as they s t r o l l through the statuary i n the garden of the Palais de 1'Industrie, he i s r e a l l y thinking out loud, engaging i n self-mockery at his inner struggle: "Don't you think I've any capacity for ideas?" the g i r l continued r u e f u l l y . "Lots of them, no doubt. But the capacity for applying them, f o r putting them into p r a c t i c e , how much of that have you?" (Muse, I, 17). He t e l l s her that his canvases have been " f u t i l e . . . i l l - starred endeavours", and when she asks i f he then intends to "give up" his "work" his reply sounds weary, " I t has never been my work a l l that business, Biddy. If i t had i t would be d i f f e r e n t . I should s t i c k to i t " (Muse, I, 20). He has already lamented his mother's attitude: "She has inherited the f i n e o l d superstition that art's pardonable only so long as i t ' s bad—so long as i t ' s done at odd hours, f o r a l i t t l e d i s t r a c t i o n , l i k e a game of tennis or of whist. The only thing that can j u s t i f y i t , the e f f o r t to carry i t as far as one can (which you can't do without time and singleness of purpose) she regards as just the dangerous, the criminal element" (Muse, I, 18). Thus a r t , to Nick i s a formidable undertaking, extremely demanding, requiring a l l of the -120- a r t i s t ' s energies "to carry i t as far as one can." His con- ception of the d i s c i p l i n e required i s strenuous indeed. Thus when Nick f i n a l l y does: make his decision and s a c r i f i c e s a l l to a r t , one expects to f i n d him engaged i n marathon bouts at his easel. Since art could then properly be styled his "work" one expects to see him " s t i c k to i t " as he had vowed he would. "He had not thrown up the House of Commons to amuse himself; he had thrown i t up to work, to s i t q u i e t l y down and bend over his task" (Muse, I I , 186). Nick i s very a r t i c u l a t e about his a r t , but his subject i s art i n general (not his own i n p a r t i c u l a r ) . I t i s i n f a i l i n g to r e i n i n his enthusiasms that, i n part, he d i s s i - pates his energies. He i n t e l l e c t u a l i z e s about art and d i s - seminates his aesthetic opinions to Gabriel Nash, to Biddy, and to Sherringham. His chief premise seems to be that a l l forms of art (painting, theatre, sculpture, l i t e r a t u r e ) are one. "It's the same great many-headed e f f o r t , and any ground that's gained by an i n d i v i d u a l , any spark that's struck i n any province, i s of use and of suggestion to a l l the others. We're a l l i n the same boat" (Muse, I, 14). Thus Nick's attention paid to others i n the same boat should be f r u i t f u l and productive. His friendship with Miriam should give him ideas he can use, j u s t as her observa- tions i n the world at large give her ideas (Muse, I I , 132-33). But such i s not the case. The time Nick spends with her and with others, even though they often t a l k of a r t , does not -121- f i r e him to greater e f f o r t s at his easel. His s o c i a l but not his aesthetic s e n s i b i l i t i e s are refreshed. In f a c t , the time Nick spends away from his studio (and i t i s a great deal of time) i s wasted. I t i s time stolen from his "peg- ging away" i n the studio, and i t does not improve the q u a l i t y of his work when he returns. The novel ends less than two years a f t e r Nick has "thrown up" the House of Commons. In a l l that time he has accomplished very l i t t l e . The second p o r t r a i t of Miriam i s never completed to our knowledge. Miriam abandons the s i t - t ings, c i t i n g "caprice" as her reason but a c t u a l l y r e a l i z i n g that Nick w i l l never love her no matter how often they meet. Nick says h e ' l l f i n i s h the p o r t r a i t and send i t to Peter (but i f he ever did complete i t i t i s u n l i k e l y that Peter's wife would welcome that addition to t h e i r private c o l l e c t i o n ) . The p o r t r a i t of Gabriel Nash i s not only unfinished (Nash, too, abandoned s i t t i n g ) , but seems to be gradually fading from the canvas. I t seems appropriate that Nash, the novel's verbose (but often amusing) token aesthete should thus fade away. James i s f a i r l y c r y p t i c i n his comments about Nick's p o r t r a i t of J u l i a : "everyone w i l l remember i n how recent an exhibition general attention was attracted, as the news- papers said i n describing the private view, to the noble por- t r a i t of a lady" (Muse, I I , 440). James's opinion of news- papers was never very high, but here one f e e l s there i s a -122- r e a l r e s t r a i n t i n the newspaper's use of the phrase "general attention was attracted." "Noble" as an adjective of praise i s also very moderate and almost dry. The "private view" sounds very chic (and J u l i a would never have agreed to have her p o r t r a i t exposed to the vulgar eye i n any case), but t h i s u l t r a correct delaut may well be an i n d i c a t i o n that Nick's career w i l l continue i n that decorous and rather a r i d atmos- phere, that he w i l l become a mere society p a i n t e r — a Rey- nolds on a diminished scale, never a Michelangelo. James leaves the novel's conclusion ambiguous with regard to Nick: "I may f i n a l l y say that his f r i e n d Nash's predictions about his reunion with Mrs. Dallow have not up 13 to t h i s time been j u s t i f i e d " (Muse, I I , 441). However, the lack of d i r e c t i o n i n Nick's professional history does not suggest he w i l l go on to do great things. It i s a l t o - gether possible that Gabriel Nash's c y n i c a l prophecy about Nick has begun to come true, at least i n i t s e s s e n t i a l s : "Mrs. Dallow w i l l send for you . . . To paint her p o r t r a i t ; s h e ' l l recapture you on that basis. S h e ' l l get you down to one of the country-houses, and i t w i l l a l l go o f f charmingly—with sketching in the morning, on days you can't hunt, and any- thing you l i k e i n the afternoon, and f i f t e e n courses i n the evening. . . . Your differences with the b e a u t i f u l lady w i l l be patched up and y o u ' l l each -123- come round a l i t t l e and meet the other halfway. The b e a u t i f u l lady w i l l swallow your profession i f y o u ' l l swallow hers. S h e ' l l put up with the palette i f y o u ' l l put up with the country-house. It w i l l be a very unusual one i n which you won't f i n d a good north room where you can paint. You'll go about with her and do a l l her friends . . . and y o u ' l l eat your cake and have i t " (Muse, I I , 406). 14 As Ross Labrie points out, though Nash presents t h i s v i s i o n as one of compromise, he r e a l l y thinks i t base surrender on Nick's part. I t i s s i g n i f i c a n t , too, that when J u l i a ' s por- t r a i t i s exhibited, "Nash had been at many a private view, but he was not at t h i s one" (Muse, I I , 440). Gabriel Nash thinks he has l o s t Nick, that Nick has gone over to the enemy and abandoned a l l art worthy of the name. Nick i s thus reduced to something resembling a gigolo by his surrender to J u l i a Dallow's charms. The abundance of her fortune and her perfect willingness to provide handsomely for his mother and s i s t e r s appear as something of a bribe. J u l i a , Nick's mother and two s i s t e r s function as a petticoat conspiracy throughout the novel, a l l ardently d e s i r i n g Nick's marriage to J u l i a . Furthermore, even after Nick and J u l i a break t h e i r engagement, she continues to i n s i s t that his family l i v e i n one of her houses, thus making certain that he i s obligated to her. J u l i a i s astute, stubborn, ambitious, -124- and managerial. I t i s her beauty, however, that ultimately draws Nick back to her. It i s of that high, proud, cold sort which Nick finds i r r e s i s t i b l e . There i s a fated q u a l i t y to t h e i r romance—though they are opposites, though she hates his art. From the beginning he had doubts that were acute anxieties: "What he suspected i n J u l i a was that her mind was less pleasing than her person; an ugly, a r e a l l y b l i g h t i n g idea, which as yet he had but half accepted. I t was a case i n which she was e n t i t l e d to the benefit of every doubt and oughtn't to be judged without a complete t r i a l . Nick meanwhile was a f r a i d of the t r i a l . . . because he was a f r a i d of the sentence, a f r a i d of any- thing that might work to lessen the charm i t was a c t u a l l y i n the power of her beauty to shed" (Muse, I, 90). Nick's love for t h i s strong-willed woman who regards his art with such antipathy i s destructive to his g i f t , as are his mother's attitude, the grim necessity of making a l i v i n g for his family, and some of his own feelings of g u i l t about disappointing so many people and f a i l i n g to l i v e up to his father's example. But c h i e f l y Nick's f a i l u r e i s one of w i l l . Having "thrown up the House of Commons" he did not then " s i t q u i e t l y down and bend over his task" as he had vowed he would do. His i r r e s o l u t i o n costs him his ta l e n t . Having chosen art over the demands of l i f e and the world he was unable to cleave to i t . -125- The lesson of The Tragic Muse i s that art demands the a r t i s t ' s complete devotion. Nick Dormer i s unable to make th i s v i t a l commitment and his talent deteriorates. However the novel relates the story of another a r t i s t , one whose commitment i s perfect and formidable. Miriam Rooth, the flamboyant actress, i s James's p o r t r a i t of the a r t i s t t r i - umphant. That perfect happiness and sense of peace which comes only to the a r t i s t who has done f u l l j u s t i c e to his talent i s hers to enjoy because she earns i t . Miriam has a very high estimation of her own powers from which she never wavers; an attitude which as the novel begins seems f a n t a s t i c , disproportionate, and grotesquely e g o t i s t i c a l but which i s more and more j u s t i f i e d by her dramatic successes as the novel progresses u n t i l , when we l a s t see Miriam on her opening night as J u l i e t , her perform- ance moves the c r i t i c s to use words l i k e "'revelation,' 'incarnation,' 'acclamation,' 'demonstration,' ' o v a t i o n ' — to name only a few, and a l l accompanied by the word 'extra- ordinary'" (Muse, I I , 430). She i s buoyed up by s e l f - c o n f i - dence throughout the novel; unlike Nick she never doubts her a b i l i t y . This v i s i o n of what she can do, of what art can accomplish Miriam holds s t e a d i l y before her. I t i s the most important thing i n her l i f e . On the other hand, James never thoroughly tests her devotion. There i s never any question of s a c r i f i c i n g her art for the man she loves, f o r example, because the man she loves, Nick Dormer, i s completely -126- oblivious to her. One suspects, nevertheless, that a r t would have won out even over Nick, had he cared to frame 15 her such a paxnful choice. Miriam's single-mindedness, her determination to excel i s her most arresting q u a l i t y . I t i s the o r i g i n of an u n f a i l i n g habit which proves disconcerting to others i n the novel, e s p e c i a l l y to Peter Sherringham, and which gives the reader pause as well. Peter f e e l s that she i s a creature of i n f i n i t e v ariety. To say she was always acting would too much convey that she was often fatiguing; since her changing face affected t h i s p a r t i c u l a r admirer at lea s t not as a series of masks, but as a response to perceived differences . . . or . . . l i k e the s h i f t i n g of the scene i n a play or l i k e a room with many windows. The image she was to project was always i n c a l c u l a b l e . . . . This time . . . a bright gentle graceful smiling young woman i n a new dress, eager to go out, drawing on fresh gloves, who looked as i f she were about to step into a carriage a n d — i t was Gabriel Nash who thus formulated her physiognomy—do a l o t of London things (Muse, I I , 209). This i s Peter's view of her, and while there i s a certain propriety i n his being bedazzled, he i s not alone. Miriam i s forever sweeping into a room i n some grand attitude or -127- another. Much of t h i s flamboyance can be accounted for by her natural high s p i r i t and by the fact that she i s perpetu- a l l y surrounded by her doting mother and a retinue of admir- ing friends ("Lord, she's good today.' Isn't she good today?" JMuse, I I , 60-6l]). Why should she not play to the gallery? But though everything she does seems natural, free, and often negligent, one seems to see a part of Miriam constantly performing f o r an audience of o n e — h e r s e l f . There i s a cer- t a i n cold egotism about Miriam that i s , i n a sense, praise- worthy. She i s always working, always t r y i n g on attitudes; her mind i s almost always i n the theatre. When Peter denies to himself the p o s s i b i l i t y that she might always be acting, i t i s because, unbidden, the thought has worked i t s way into his consciousness and sti c k s l i k e a burr. Miriam i s very effusive i n her greeting to Peter on his return from Pa r i s : She c a l l e d him "Dear master" again and again, and s t i l l oftener "Cher majStre", and appeared to express gratitude and reverence by every intonation. "You're doing the humble dependent now," he said: "You do i t b e a u t i f u l l y , as you do every- thing" (Muse, I I , 131). c Miriam's mimicry i s a very d i f f e r e n t thing from the common- place s o c i a l dissembling that goes on throughout the n o v e l — Biddy t r y i n g to pretend she i s unaffected by Peter's near- ness, Peter t r y i n g to assume nonchalance when t o l d Miriam -128- loves another, and so on. Her remarkable ta l e n t can be a weapon too. In the heat of her angry midnight interview with Peter, she dismisses the l i f e he offers her as "tossing up my head as the fin e lady of a l i t t l e c o t e r i e . . . . A big coterie then! It's only that at the best. A nasty prim ' o f f i c i a l ' woman who's perched on her l i t t l e l o c a l pedestal and thinks she's a queen for ever because she's r i d i c u l o u s for an hour! Oh you needn't t e l l me. I've seen them abroad — t h e dreariest females—and could imitate them here. I could do one for you on the spot i f I weren't so t i r e d " (Muse, I I , 347). Miriam's " p l a s t i c " q u a l i t y (Muse, I, 212) was one of the f i r s t things Sherringham noticed about her. In fa c t , he i s the one who urged her to develop a personal s t y l e saying, " A l l r e f l e x i o n i s a f f e c t a t i o n and a l l acting's r e f l e x i o n " (Muse, I, 206). She was a puzzle to him even then i n what 16 Dorothea Krook c a l l s Miriam's "early ugly-duckling period." Peter f r e e l y expressed these doubts to Miriam then. Later when he had grown to love her he could not afford to believe 17 she had no personal depth, but i n i t i a l l y he was very frank: "What's rare i n you i s that you have—as I suspect at l e a s t — n o nature of your own. . . . You're always at concert p i t c h or on your horse; there are no i n t e r v a l s " (Muse, I I , 210). -129- "Your feigning may be honest i n the sense that your only f e e l i n g i s your feigned one," Peter pursued. . . . "Were you r e a l l y so f r i g h t - ened the f i r s t day you went to Madame Carrey's?" She stared, then with a flush threw back her head. "Do you think I was pretending?" "I think you always are" (Muse, I, 211). Peter's judgment of Miriam i s a l i t t l e harsh, but he i s wrong only i n the degree of a f f e c t a t i o n which he attributes to her. Of course she has emotions of her own, but she i s very s k i l l e d at hiding them. Also,, when they do not conform to the grand design she has made for her l i f e she manages to smother them with comparative ease. For example, her "sensi- ble" a ttitude on sensing the f u t i l i t y i n her unrequited love for Nick Dormer i l l u s t r a t e s t h i s p r a c t i c a l s t r a i n i n Miriam. However, the primary reason that Miriam seems affected i s her t o t a l absorption i n her a r t . Nothing else matters to her to the degree that becoming the greatest actress a l i v e matters, so a l l her energies are channeled toward that one goal. Thus i f her ordinary manner seems preoccupied, excessively expres- sive, or even h i s t r i o n i c , i t i s because she i s an a r t i s t to the core. At some point i n her l i f e Miriam was confronted by the same choice a l l James's a r t i s t face—whether to choose the common pattern of family l i f e and i t s r e s p o n s i b i l i t i e s or to -130- devote her l i f e to art. In Miriam's case, the substance of her art i s the way she presents h e r s e l f to the world, and i t i s completely the product of c a l c u l a t i o n . Peter Sherringham warned her early i n t h e i r acquaintance that hers was an abso- lute choice, saying, "You can't be everything, both a consum- mate actress and a flower of the f i e l d . You've got to choose" (Muse, I, 211). It i s i r o n i c that Peter gave t h i s advice yet ultimately comes to wish Miriam were "a flower of the f i e l d " — n a t u r a l , a r t l e s s , passive. He i s wrong i n one respect, however: Miriam had made her choice long before he met her. Nor does one f e e l she found the choice d i f f i c u l t , nor perhaps even recognized i t as a choice. Miriam was compelled from the beginning to become a consummate actress. She i s always acutely aware of the dramatic p o t e n t i a l of any s i t u a t i o n (thus her a i r of c a l c u l a t i o n , and even a f f e c t a t i o n ) . Miriam's art i s a matter of i n s t i n c t ; she i s a natural actress. In t h i s sense she i s indeed "The Tragic Muse." She i s theatre personified, a creature "who's absolutely a l l an a r t i s t . " Peter had professed himself "curious to see that" (Muse, I, 212), but finds the r e a l i t y something he cannot accept. Because Miriam's tal e n t i s so great, and because she i s w i l l i n g to devote a l l her thought, a l l her energies to per- fecting and expressing i t , she shines as James's p o r t r a i t of the a r t i s t triumphant. She i s her own best c r i t i c and con- stantly s i t s i n judgment on her work. Her diligence i s -131- astonishing. Her philosophy of l i f e and art as she expresses i t to Peter Sherringham i s fundamental to her success. She believes, l i k e Nick Dormer does, that a l l observation bene- f i t s the a r t i s t . But, unlike Nick's, Miriam's observations are actually transformed into the s t u f f of her art. Unlike h i s , her forays into the world are productive and f e r t i l e . Miriam's philisophy of l i f e and a r t sounds ingenuous on f i r s t reading but i s a c t u a l l y acutely perceptive. Since she possesses the s e l f - d i s c i p l i n e to approach a l l l i f e ' s experi- ences as a study i n theatre, she can but gain: She was delighted to f i n d that seeing more of the world suggested things to her; . . . she was thus convinced more than ever that the a r t i s t ought to l i v e so as to get on with his business, gathering ideas and l i g h t s from experience. . . . But work of course was experience, and everything i n one's l i f e that was good was work£;J. . . i f you only kept your eyes open nothing could happen to you that wouldn't be food for observation and g r i s t to your m i l l , showing you how people looked and moved and spoke, c r i e d and grimaced, writhed and dissimulated, i n given sit u a t i o n s . . . . She was f i e r c e to know why people didn't take them up, put them into plays and parts, give one a chance with them; she expressed her sharp impatience of the general l i t e r a r y betise (Muse, I I , 132-33). -132- Miriam has chosen to devote her l i f e to her a r t . With her thoroughly professional attitude of rigorous s e l f - d i s c i - p l i n e , she wrings the essence from every experience and studies i t for elements she can use i n her performances. Her hard work combines with her ta l e n t to produce coups de thea/tre l i k e her incandescent J u l i e t , "an exquisite image of young passion and young despair, expressed i n the truest d i v i n e s t music that had ever poured from t r a g i c l i p s " (Muse, II, 430). This was James's conception of the most blessed happiness an a r t i s t could know. I t i s what Henry St. George c a l l e d "the great thing. . . . The sense of having done the b e s t — the sense which i s the r e a l l i f e of the a r t i s t and the absence of which i s his death, of having drawn from his i n t e l l e c t u a l instrument the f i n e s t music that nature has hidden i n i t , of having played i t as i t should be played" ("The Lesson of the Master," p. 69). Miriam knew t h i s peace, for she gave a l l to her a r t . Nick Dormer, on the other hand, compromised his i d e a l , had t r a f f i c with the world, spread his l o y a l t i e s too t h i n , and l o s t his precious a b i l i t y . James considered the a r t i s t ' s talent to be an i n f i n i t e l y precious g i f t , an extraordinary t r u s t to be treasured and exploited for good. But the a r t i s t must choose either to be true to the best that i s i n him and make a l l the s a c r i - f i c e s that e n t a i l s , or to allow himself to become involved i n the concerns of ordinary d a i l y l i f e , probably to the -133- detriment of his art. He must defer to the world no more than i s absolutely necessary for him to l i v e . I t i s a p e r i l - ous balance to m a i n t a i n — l i v i n g for art but i n the world. Throughout much of the f i c t i o n , James examines with i n t e r e s t the manner i n which his a r t i s t s meet t h i s challenge. For most, the lure of the world i s too strong; e s p e c i a l l y when i t o f f e r s not only f l a t t e r y and acclaim (as i t does to Henry St. George and N e i l Paraday), but love, the most dan- genous siren of them a l l . Roderick Hudson perished for love and, i n another sense, so did Nick Dormer. The rewards to the a r t i s t who remains true to his a r t and who does "The great thing" are heady indeed. That sense of exaltation which i s creative ecstasy i s worth any price to those who know i t . James knew i t and ordered his l i f e around i t , safeguarding the sanctity of his i s o l a t e d study. However his tales and novels about a r t i s t s demon- strate that, though he had resolved his own c o n f l i c t s , he did r e a l i z e they s t i l l existed for other a r t i s t s . His imaginative and sympathetic treatments of the possible temptations and c o n f l i c t i n g interests they experience a l l resolve themselves into a single p r i n c i p l e : James believed the a r t i s t had to make an absolute choice between the demands of his art and those of the world. He was also con- fident that for r e a l l y great a r t i s t s , l i k e Miriam Rooth, there was no c o n f l i c t at a l l , for r e a l l y great a r t i s t s i n v a r i a b l y choose to do "the great thing.! 1 -134- Notes to Chapter Three '''Kenneth Graham, Henry James "The Drama of Fulfilment: An Approach to the Novels" (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1975), pp. 29-57 treats t h i s aspect of the novel at length. 2 Cf. Louis Auchincloss, Reading Henry James (Minneapolis: Univ. of Minnesota Press, 1975), p. 43, whose remarks on her role i n the novel are s i m i l a r . 3 Leon Edel, "Introduction," i n Henry James's Roderick Hudson (New York: Harper and Row, 1961), p. v i i - v i i i . 4 Cf. Henry James, Roderick Hudson (New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1907), pp. 23-24. A l l further references are to t h i s e d i t i o n of the novel and w i l l be included i n the text. Munro Beattie, "The Many Marriages of Henry James," i n Patterns of Commitment i n American L i t e r a t u r e , ed. Marston La France (Toronto: Univ. of Toronto Press, 1967), p. 93. Henry James, "The Lesson of the Master," i n The Novels and Tales of Henry James, Vol 15 (New York: Charles Scrib- ner's Sons, 1909), 69. A l l further references w i l l be to t h i s e d i t i o n of the t a l e and included i n the text. -135- 7 Gwen Matheson, "Portraits of the A r t i s t and the Lady i n the Shorter F i c t i o n of Henry James," Dalhousie Review, 4 8 (Slimmer, 1968), 224, considers how James believed "the a r t i s t i s opposed by his wife's maternal function;" p Ross Labrie, "Sirens of L i f e and Art i n Henry James," Lakehead Univ. Review, 2 ( F a l l , 1969), 156. q Munro Beattie, "The Many Marriages of Henry James," p. 99. 1 0Henry James, "The Death of the Lion,"in The Novels and Tales of Henry James, Vol. 15 (New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1909), 123. A l l further references are to t h i s e d i t i o n of the t a l e and included i n the text. 1 1Simon Nowell-Smith, The Legend of the Master (New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1948), p. 27. 1 2Quoted by Nowell-Smith, p. 27. 13 Cf. also Ross Labrie, "Sirens of L i f e and Art," p. 153. 1 4 I b i d . , p. 153. 15 Gabriel Nash seems to concur (Muse, I I , 204). Dorothea Krook, The Ordeal of Consciousness, p. 92. 1 7 C f . Muse, I I , 209. -136- Conclusion In his f i c t i o n James concentrates on unhappiness and disillusionment, considering these to be the most common responses to the experiences of l i f e . His characters set out confident, ambitious, and, for the most part, woefully ignorant. Most of t h e i r unhappiness derives from the r e l a - tions between the sexes. James shows the unremitting pres- sure to marry well which i s exerted upon the young g i r l s of continental, English, and American so c i e t i e s and studies t h e i r pain, f r u s t r a t i o n , and ignorance as they approach marriage. The convent-bred d o c i l i t y of the continental jeune f i l l e may make her a passive victim, l i k e Pansy Osmond, or an accomplished hypocrite l i k e L i t t l e Aggie of The Awkward Age. What James c a l l e d the "incoherence" of the English sys- tem of rearing i t s young g i r l s forces them to devise t h e i r own codes of conduct, producing complex young women l i k e the thwarted Nanda Brookenham, who i s knowing and innocent a l l at once. S i m i l a r l y the English Biddy Dormer yearns too openly a f t e r the man she loves and her p i t i f u l attempts at the dissimulative arts make her appear r i d i c u l o u s . At the opposite extreme to continental i s American society, which allows i t s young g i r l s too much l i b e r t y and gives them an u n r e a l i s t i c a l l y high opinion of t h e i r r e l a t i v e importance. -137- The lazy f l i r t a t i o u s grace and arrogance of Daisy M i l l e r and J u l i a Bride are the l o g i c a l consequence of such l i b e r t y ; t h e i r f a i l u r e s i n e v i t a b l e . None of the three s o c i e t i e s questions the v a l i d i t y of marriage being the only conceivable fate for i t s young g i r l s , yet none prepares her f o r i t . Thus a l l attention i s directed toward the chase i t s e l f , and none toward the r a t i o n a l selection of the quarry or even toward the basic question of the comparative wisdom of the hunt i t s e l f . James's married women never l i v e happily ever a f t e r . Some of the more s u p e r f i c i a l ones devise solutions of a sort; thus the fr i v o l o u s Countess Gemini of The P o r t r a i t of a Lady works around her husband as i f he were an inanimate obstacle, scheming to get as many pretty dresses and as much vacation time i n Rome as she can. Lydia Touchett (in the same novel) i s so w i l l f u l that she has v i r t u a l l y separated from her husband, v i s i t i n g him only one month of the year, and that e n t i r e l y on her own terms. But for the earnest i d e a l i s t s l i k e Isabel Archer marriage i s an enormous responsi- b i l i t y , and even when i t proves to be a hideous mistake she cannot bring herself to dissolve i t . James i s preoccupied with the ironclad aspects of the marriage contract and shows in The Golden Bowl what s a c r i f i c e s and compromises must be made i f cert a i n marriages of questionable q u a l i t y are to be preserved i n t a c t . The s a c r i f i c e s usually involve the woman's relinquishing her i n d i v i d u a l i t y , as Charlotte does, or -138- accepting, as Maggie does, a flawed human mate instead of the golden god she thought she had secured. Marriage i s never synonymous with security, and for James the a l t a r i s the beginning, not the end, of the story. Like his women, James's men are not happy eit h e r . Men of l i t t l e character, l i k e Prince Amerigo of The Golden Bowl and G i l b e r t Osmond of The P o r t r a i t of a Lady begin f u l l of cynica l confidence that a r i c h wife i s a l l they need to make l i f e easy, to open up g l i t t e r i n g realms of p o s s i b i l i t i e s . They learn, however, that nothing i s as simple as i t appears, and that every commitment, however l i g h t l y undertaken, involves obligations. Amerigo must forego a di v e r t i n g a f f a i r with another woman and become a domesticated family man; Osmond learns that his intense young bride can be broken i n s p i r i t and s t i l l not submit, s t i l l not subscribe to his bleak, corrupt view of the universe. James's businessmen experience f a i l u r e and disappoint- ment as wel l , most often when they attempt to use t h e i r f o r - tunes to buy happiness and love. Gallant Christopher Newman of The American i s doomed i n his naive wish to marry the daughter of haughty French a r i s t o c r a t s . Powerful Adam Verver of The Golden Bowl uses his money to control the behavior of his wife and son-in-law, though he cannot control t h e i r affec tions. Abel Gaw and Horton Vint of The Ivory Tower l i v e only for money and t h e i r human affections wither i n consequence. -139- The most sensitive group of male characters i n James's f i c t i o n i s admirably represented by Lambert Strether of The Ambassadors. Strether i s altogether admirable—modest, a l t r u - i s t i c , enthusiastic and c h i l d - l i k e i n his response to Paris. But since his happiness i s based on his ignorance of the r e a l r e l a t i o n s h i p e x i s t i n g between two of his friends, i t i s e a s i l y destroyed when his i l l u s i o n i s shattered. Thus his kind and sensitive nature i s no more a guarantee of happiness and success i n l i f e than are the more ruthless and e g o t i s t i c a l natures of his fellow males i n James's f i c t i o n . James believed that r e a l and l a s t i n g happiness i s possi- ble only to the a r t i s t , and possible only under certain condi- tions. The a r t i s t can only experience l a s t i n g happiness when he r e a l i z e s that he has done "the great thing," produced the very best work he can. This r e a l i z a t i o n of the i d e a l can only take place i f the a r t i s t turns a l l his attention to his art. He must l i v e i n the r e a l world no more than i s abso- l u t e l y necessary i n order to earn a l i v i n g and deal with the p r a c t i c a l problems of l i f e i n a cursory fashion. The a r t i s t who hopes to achieve his i d e a l must eschew any involvement in the delusory, t r a n s i t o r y happiness that presents i t s e l f as love and marriage. James's a r t i s t s a l l have a v i s i o n of the i d e a l , but few of them are w i l l i n g or able to make the necessary s a c r i f i c e s to a t t a i n i t . Roderick Hudson i s a flamboyant Bryonic sculp- tor driven to despair and ruin by his hopeless love for -140- C h r i s t i n a Light. Urbane Henry St. George of "The Lesson of the Master" prostitutes his art by devoting himself to material comforts for himself and his family, but he i s always aware of just how far he has f a l l e n from his o r i g i n a l greatness, and that awareness i s a hollow ache i n his soul. Paul Overt, i n the same t a l e , r a i l s b i t t e r l y at St. George's dictum that the a r t i s t can either be great or be married— the one or the o t h e r — b u t supplies a p r a c t i c a l demonstration of i t s truth. P i t i f u l N e i l Paraday of "The Death of the Lion" i s l i t e r a l l y l i o n i z e d to death by stupid, thoughtless people (notably London Hostesses), despite the f u t i l e e f f o r t s to s h i e l d him made by his more perceptive f r i e n d . In The Tragic Muse, his most extended and ambitious study of the possible c o n f l i c t s the a r t i s t experiences when he i s drawn to l i f e and yet wishes to do f u l l j u s t i c e to his art , James portrays Nick Dormer and Miriam Rooth. For Dormer the blandishments of the great world are money, personal recognition and fame as a member of parliament, and the s a t i s f a c t i o n of pleasing his demanding mother and fiancee. He renounces a l l t h i s to paint p o r t r a i t s but i s unable to hold fa s t to his resolution. Nick i s gradually drawn back to his old interests and r e s p o n s i b i l i t i e s ( a l l save his par- liamentary one) and his art languishes for want of attention. On the other hand Miriam Rooth i s an i n t r i g u i n g study of a r t i s t i c ambition that defers to no-one and nothing. Miriam i s so cer t a i n she can do great work that she o r i g i n a l l y seems -141- u t t e r l y immodest, grotesquely e g o t i s t i c a l . But Miriam i s rig h t . As opportunities arise and her great talent i s nour- ished by her indefatigable e f f o r t s , the eff e c t s she produces on the stage j u s t i f y her o r i g i n a l extravagant claims. Miriam does not swerve for love; she marries only to secure an astute business manager whose i n t e r e s t i n her career i s equally as intense as hers (albeit rather more avaricious). Miriam's success i s personal and dazzling because she i s wholly committed to her art . In James's f i c t i o n there i s no l a s t i n g happiness, no sense of achievement or fu l f i l m e n t to be found i n the scram- ble to marry well which constitutes the l i f e of the young g i r l s of Europe, England and America. Marriage i t s e l f i s the most inhumane of i n s t i t u t i o n s i n which women immure them- selves, s a c r i f i c i n g a l l t h e i r i n d i v i d u a l i t y . Men cannot be happy either i n marriage or i n business, for i n marriage they tend to be brutal or i n s e n s i t i v e , while i n business they subjugate t h e i r moral and aesthetic senses to ac q u i s i - t i v e ones, to the detriment of the man himself and a l l those with whom he l i v e s . Nor are the rare, gentle, sensitive men successful i n l i f e , f or they tend to base t h e i r own happi- ness on the actions of other people, a precarious foundation. Creative happiness of the sort known by the a r t i s t i s the only kind one can depend upon, but i t requires absolute commitment. The a r t i s t who would achieve greatness cannot permit himself to be overwhelmed by the ordinary concerns of -142- da i l y l i f e . He cannot afford to love, he cannot af f o r d to marry, for he cannot give hostages to fortune. S i m i l a r l y he cannot pay too much attention to f l a t t e r e r s and to questions of his material wealth. The a r t i s t must be a man or woman unlike others, s a c r i f i c i n g a l l earthly v a n i t i e s to his one i d e a l v i s i o n . Only by making t h i s absolute commitment can he achieve the happiness which consists of knowing that he has done the best work that i s i n him. -143- Bibliography Auchincloss, Louis. Reading Henry James. Minneapolis: Univ. of Minnesota Press, 1975. Beattie, Munro. "The Many Marriages of Henry James." In Patterns of Commitment i n American Literature. Ed. Marston La France. Toronto: Univ. of Toronto Press, 1967, pp. 93-112. Buitenhuis, Peter. "A Very American Tale: The Bostonians." In his The Grasping Imagination: The American Writings of Henry James. Toronto: Univ. of Toronto Press, 1970, pp. 141-59. Buitenhuis, Peter. "From Daisy M i l l e r to J u l i a Bride: 'A Whole Passage of I n t e l l e c t u a l History.*" AQ, 11 (1959), 136-46. C a r g i l l , Oscar. The Novels of Henry James. New York: The Macmillan Co., 1961, pp. 123-45. Dietrichson, Jan W. "Part I I : The Image of Money i n the Works of Henry James." In his The Image of Money i n the American Novel of the Gilded Age. Oslo: Univ e r s i t e t s - f o r l g e t , and New York: Humanities Press, 19 69, pp. 24- 164. -144- Dupee, F. W. Henry James. American Men of Letters Series. New York: William Sloane Associates, 1951. Edel, Leon. Henry James: The Conquest of London (1870-1881). Philadelphia and New York: J. B. Lippincott Co., 1962. . Henry James: The Master (1901-1916). P h i l a - delphia and New York: J. B. Lippincott Co., 1972. . Henry James: The Middle Years (1882-1895). Philadelphia and New York: J. B. Lippincott Co., 1962. . Henry James: The Treacherous Years (1895-1901). Philadelphia and New York: J. B. Lippincott Co., 1969. . Henry James: The Untried Years (1843-1870). Philadelphia and New York: J . B. Lippincott Co., 1953. . "Introduction" i n Henry James's Roderick Hudson. New York: Harper and Row, 1961, pp. v i i - x v i i . Gass, William H. "The High B r u t a l i t y of Good Intentions." Accent, 18 (Winter, 1958). Rpt. i n Perspectives on James's "The P o r t r a i t of a Lady": A C o l l e c t i o n of C r i t i - c a l Essays. Ed. William T. Stafford. New York: New York Univ. Press, 1967, pp. 206-16. Gordon, Caroline. "Mr. Verver, Our National Hero." Sewanee Review, 63 (1955), 29^47. -145- Graham, Kenneth. Henry James "The Drama of Fulfilment: An Approach to the Novels." Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1975. Howard, David. "The Bostonians." In The A i r of Reality: New Essays on Henry James. Ed. John Goode. London: Methuen and Co. Ltd., 1972, pp. 60-80. James, Henry. The Ambassadors. 2 vols. New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1909. . The American. New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1907. . The American Scene. Bloomington and London: Indiana Univ. Press, 1968. . The Awkward Age. New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1908. . The Bostonians: A Novel. London and New York: Macmillan and Co., 1886. . "Daisy M i l l e r . " In The Novels and Tales of Henry James, Vol. 18. New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1909. __. "The Death of the Lion." In The Novels and Tales of Henry James, Vol. 15. New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1909. ' __. The Golden Bowl. 2 vols. New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1909. -146- . The Ivory Tower. New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1917. . " J u l i a Bride." In The Novels and Tales of Henry James, Vol. 17. New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1909. . "The Lesson of the Master." 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Rpt. i n Twentieth Cen- tury Interpretations of "The P o r t r a i t of a Lady": A C o l l e c t i o n of C r i t i c a l Essays. Ed. Peter Buitenhuis. Englewood C l i f f s , N. J . : Prentice-Hall, 1968, pp. 83-96. Matheson, Gwen. "Portraits of the A r t i s t and the Lady i n the Shorter F i c t i o n of Henry James." Dalhousie Review, 48 (Summer, 1968), 222-30. Matthiessen, Francis Otto. Henry James: The Major Phase. New York: Oxford Univ. Press, 1963. Nettels, Elsa. "The Scapegoats and Martyrs of Henry James." Colby Lib. Quart., 10 (Sept., 1974), 413-27. Nowell-Smith, Simon. The Legend of the Master. New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 194 8. Powers, L y a l l H. "The Bostonians." In his Henry James and the Na t u r a l i s t Movement. Michigan: Michigan State Univ. Press, 1971, pp. 42-87. -149- Powers, L y a l l H. "The P o r t r a i t of a Lady." NCF, 14 (1959). Rpt. i n Henry James's Major Novels: Essays i n C r i t i - cism. Ed. L y a l l H. Powers. East Lansing: Michigan State Univ. Press, 1973, pp, 73-85, Samuels, Charles Thomas. The Ambiguity of Henry James. Urbana: Univ. of I l l i n o i s Press, 1971. T r i l l i n g , L i o n e l . "The Bostonians." In his The Opposing S e l f : Nine Essays i n C r i t i c i s m . New York: Viking Press, 1955. Rpt. i n Henry James's Major Novels: Essays i n C r i t i c i s m . Ed. L y a l l H. Powers. East Lansing: Michigan State Press, 1973, pp. 89-99. Van Ghent, Dorothy. "From The English Novel: Form and Func- t i o n . " New York: Holt, Rinehart, and Winston, 1953. Rpt. i n Perspectives on "The P o r t r a i t of a Lady." New York: New York Univ. Press, 1967, pp. 113-31. Ward, J. A. The Imagination of Disaster: E v i l i n the F i c t i o n of Henry James. Lincoln: Univ. of Nebraska Press, 1961.

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