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Additional resources for Henry James and his Prose
32 Introduction If, at the end of The Golden Bowl, Henry James sent Adam Verver and Charlotte, his wife, back to America, it was perhaps because he was about to return himself. He had been away during all his middle years-from his fortieth to his sixtieth year. He was curious, be wanted to take a look at his past. America received him with enthusiasm; he was invited to lecture and to write his impressions; he travelled to the South for the first time and he realized a long. cherished drama when he crossed the continent and saw California.
No one except perhaps Mr. e. Brownell, she wrote in exasperation: "I have never before been discouraged by criticism because when critics have found fault with me I have usually abounded in their sense, and seen, as I thought, a way of doing things better next time; but the continued cry that I am an echo of Mr. James (whose books of the last ten years I can't read, much as I delight in the man) ... " There were numerous paradoxes in the situation. James, it will be recalled, was at this very moment becoming a personal friend-ICI delight in the man" expresses her amazed discovery in 46 The Continued Cry 1904 of the boundless resources of his personal charm.
His views were an embarrassment to Henry James's publisher; the James essay is the only piece in American Prose Masters that had not made its appearance first in Scribner's Magazine. The Continued Cry 49 Edith Wharton's views would not be expressed in print for many years, until, in fact, they had lost some of their early impulsion. Personal loyalty to James always made her reluctant to draw attention to their artistic differences. Even in 1928, in a memorial essay on Brownell, she does not mention this critique which had seemed "celestially written" for her, though she praises the whole book as his best and finds her "one quarrel" with it to be the essay to James Fenimore Cooper.