Skip to Main Content (Press Enter) Toggle side nav

Library of America Complete Novels of Henry James

Henry James
Henry James: Novels 1886-1890 (LOA #43) by Henry James
Henry James: Novels 1901-1902 (LOA #162) by Henry James
Henry James: Novels 1903-1911 (LOA #215) by Henry James

Library of America Complete Novels of Henry James : Titles in Order

Book 6
Nearly thirty years in the making, The Library of America’s eleven-volume edition of the complete fiction of Henry James now culminates with this authoritative volume collecting his final three finished works. Considered by James to be his most finely constructed novel, The Ambassadors (1903) recounts the attempts of a conscientious American to convince the son of a friend to return home from Paris-and in doing so plays the charm of the Old World against the provincialism of the New. In The Golden Bowl (1904), an American woman marries an Italian prince while her father unknowingly marries the prince’s former mistress; James underscores both the fragility and strength of human ties and further develops what he once called the “complex fate, being an American.” Originally written for the stage but never produced, James reworked The Outcry (1911) into a highly successful comic novel of social manners that also deals with the ethics of art collecting. Included as an appendix is “The Married Son,” the chapter James contributed to The Whole Family (1908), a multi-author novel conceived by William Dean Howells and portraying a dysfunctional family whose struggles mirror the frustrated collaborative efforts of the book’s twelve contributors.

LIBRARY OF AMERICA is an independent nonprofit cultural organization founded in 1979 to preserve our nation’s literary heritage by publishing, and keeping permanently in print, America’s best and most significant writing. The Library of America series includes more than 300 volumes to date, authoritative editions that average 1,000 pages in length, feature cloth covers, sewn bindings, and ribbon markers, and are printed on premium acid-free paper that will last for centuries.
Book 5
This Library of America volume brings together one of Henry James’s most unusual experiments and one of his most beloved masterpieces

Writing to his friend William Dean Howells, Henry James characterized his experimental novel, The Sacred Fount, as the only one of his novels to be told in the first person, as “a fine flight into the high fantastic.” While traveling to the country house of Newmarch for a weekend party, the nameless narrator becomes obsessed with the idea that a person may become younger or cleverer by tapping the “sacred fount” of another person. Convinced that Grace Brissenden has become younger by drawing upon her husband, Guy, the narrator seeks to discover the source of the newfound wit of Gilbert Long, previously “a fine piece of human furniture.” His perplexing and ambiguous quest, and the varying reactions it provokes from the other guests, calls into question the imaginative inquiry central to James’s art of the novel.

James described the essential idea of The Wings of the Dove as “a young person conscious of a great capacity for life, but early stricken and doomed, condemned to die under short respite, while also enamoured of the world.” The heroine, a wealthy young American heiress, Milly Theale (inspired by James’s beloved cousin Minny Temple), is slowly drawn into a trap set for her by the English adventuress Kate Croy and her lover, the journalist Morton Densher. The unexpected outcome of their mercenary scheme provides the resolution to a tragic story of love and betrayal, innocence and experience that has long been acknowledged as one of James’s supreme achievements as a novelist. This volume prints the New York Edition text of The Wings of the Dove, and includes the illuminating preface James wrote for that edition.

LIBRARY OF AMERICA is an independent nonprofit cultural organization founded in 1979 to preserve our nation’s literary heritage by publishing, and keeping permanently in print, America’s best and most significant writing. The Library of America series includes more than 300 volumes to date, authoritative editions that average 1,000 pages in length, feature cloth covers, sewn bindings, and ribbon markers, and are printed on premium acid-free paper that will last for centuries.
Book 3
The three novels in this Library of America volume from Henry James’s middle period explore some historical and social dilemmas that belong as much to our time as to his own. The Princess Casamassima was published in 1886, a year that saw riots of the unemployed in London. It is a political novel in which anarchists and terrorists conspire within a fin de siècle world of opulence and glamour. The action ranges from palaces to slums, from London to Paris to Venice and back again. The novel’s hero, Hyacinth Robinson, is torn between his loyalty to revolutionary causes—for which he is about to commit an act of violence that may cost him his life—and his taste for the artistic side of aristocratic culture, represented in part by the beautiful, wealthy, compassionate, and yet deceptive Princess of the title. Possibly to save Hyacinth, she becomes romantically involved with his fellow conspirator Paul Muniment, a calculating political operative, idealistic and treacherous by turns. Assassination plots, sexual betrayals, murder, suicide, and the fierce play of conflicting loyalties—all these bring into play an intricate abundance of attendant figures, like the rakish Captain Sholto and the appealing but faithless Millicent Henning.

The Reverberator (1888) is a swiftly paced comic novel named after a newspaper that caters to the American public’s appetite for the “society news of every quarter of the globe.” Francie Dosson, the free-spirited daughter of a wealthy Boston family, innocently provides gossip to George Flack, a “young commercial American” who writes for the paper. His published report imperils her engagement to Gaston Probert, whose family is outraged by the airing of its secrets. James portrays the collision of easily shocked Old World propriety and self-assured New World naiveté with benevolent affection and spirited delight.

The Tragic Muse (1890) explores with a topical realism not usually found in James the conflicts between art and politics, society and the Bohemian life. It does so with dazzling glimpses of Parisian theater and of London aestheticism, as articulated by the flamboyant and idealistic Gabriel Nash. At its center are four superbly drawn characters. The fascinating Miriam Rooth is an actress of overwhelming egotistic vitality and dedication to her art. Her suitor, the diplomat Peter Sherringham, is impassioned by her theatrical talent even while asking her to sacrifice it for his career. Nick Dormer faces a similar predicament in his engagement to the rich Julia Dallow, who wants him to forgo his painting so as to make use of her fortune in pursuit of his career in Parliament. Full of witty talk and vividly dramatic scenes, the novel includes a vast array of characters such as the impressive political matriarch Lady Dormer. Perhaps more than any of his novels, it attests to James’s recognition of the costs of any dedication, like his own, to creative achievement.

LIBRARY OF AMERICA is an independent nonprofit cultural organization founded in 1979 to preserve our nation’s literary heritage by publishing, and keeping permanently in print, America’s best and most significant writing. The Library of America series includes more than 300 volumes to date, authoritative editions that average 1,000 pages in length, feature cloth covers, sewn bindings, and ribbon markers, and are printed on premium acid-free paper that will last for centuries.

Find other titles in

Back to Top