A Ring of Conspirators: Henry James and His Literary Circle, 1895-1915

Miranda Seymour, Author
Miranda Seymour, Author Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (HMH) $19.95 (0p) ISBN 978-0-395-51173-2
Reviewed on: 06/01/1989
Release date: 06/01/1989
Henry James left London in 1897 to spend the last two decades of his life in the southeastern corner of England. His neighbors in East Sussex included H. G. Wells, Stephen Crane, Ford Madox Ford, Joseph Conrad. In her intriguing portrait gallery, British author Seymour aims to cut through ``the mass of evasions . . . and misrepresentations'' about their relationships to which James contributed. She finds that James was cruelly patronizing to protege Wells and to Conrad; that he was annoyed by Ford, an incorrigible romancer; that he envied his rich friend Edith Wharton for her wide readership; that he snubbed Cora Taylor, Crane's lover, after she fled the U.S. when her railway-conductor husband was found guilty of murder. Seymour, a descendant of James's close friend, the novelist Howard Sturgis, records how James's critiques of fellow writers often amounted to annihilation. She chronicles his infatuations with handsome young men, including sculptor Hendrik Andersen and poet Rupert Brooke. Photos. (June)
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