The Middle Years (book)

The Middle Years (book)

Infobox Book |
name = The Middle Years
author = Henry James
country = United Kingdom, United States
language = English
genre = Autobiography
publisher = W. Collins Sons & Co., London
Charles Scribner's Sons, New York City
release_date = Collins: 18-Oct-1917
Scribner's: 23-Nov-1917
media_type = Print
pages = Collins: 118
Scribner's: 119

"The Middle Years" is an incomplete book of autobiography by Henry James, posthumously published in 1917. The book covers the early years of James' residence in Europe and his meetings with writers such as George Eliot, Alfred Tennyson, and James Russell Lowell.

ummary and themes

The seven chapters of this fragment show promise as a record of James' young manhood in Europe. He met many of the leading writers of the day, though his opinions of them were not always flattering. Tennyson he found rather dull and commonplace, not at all the fine mind he expected. The poet's reading of "Locksley Hall" left James unimpressed.

George Eliot appealed much more to James with her interesting conversation and alert consideration of ideas. James tells a story of how he helped summon a doctor when George Eliot's injured stepson required urgent medical aid. He compliments the novelist on how carefully she attended to the young man.

James also has much to say about the London of his first impressions: the rooms he stayed in, the Londoners he talked with on the streets, the theaters and museums he visited. The fragment concludes with a remembance of Lady Waterford, a painter who possessed "that combination of rare beauty and rare talent which the Victorian age had for many years not ceased to acclaim."

Critical evaluation

It's unfortunate that James' autobiography breaks off just when it was getting most interesting, as he began his career as a celebrated novelist and became acquainted with many of the most talented writers of his time. But the fragment still offers enough glimpses of eminent Victorians (as Lytton Strachey might say) to merit reading.


* "Henry James: Autobiography" edited by F.W. Dupee (New York: Criterion Books 1956)
* "A Companion to Henry James Studies" edited by Daniel Fogel (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press 1993) ISBN 0-313-25792-2

External links

* [ Description of "The Middle Years" and James' other autobiographical books]

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • The Middle Years (story) — Infobox short story | name = The Middle Years author = Henry James country = United States language = English genre = Short story publication type = Periodical published in = Scribner s Magazine publisher = Charles Scribner s Sons pub date = May… …   Wikipedia

  • The Desperate Dan Book — The Desperate Dan books, featuring the comic book character Desperate Dan, were published in 1954, 1978, 1990, 1991 and 1992. Since they were traditionally released in the autumn and in time for Christmas, all bar the first (which had no date)… …   Wikipedia

  • The Last Wish (book) — The Last Wish   Cover of the American edition of The L …   Wikipedia

  • The Samson Option (book) — Infobox Book name = The Samson Option title orig = translator = image caption = author = Seymour Hersh illustrator = cover artist = country = United States language = English series = genre = Non fiction publisher = Random House release date =… …   Wikipedia

  • The Third Wave (book) — infobox Book | name = The Third Wave title orig = translator = image caption = author = Alvin Toffler illustrator = cover artist = country = United States language = English series = genre = Social Science, History, Futurology publisher = Bantam… …   Wikipedia

  • The Great Controversy (book) — Infobox Book name = The Great Controversy author = Ellen White language = English pages = 219 release date = 1858 publisher = James White country = USA subject = History of sin from beginning to end The Great Controversy is a book written by… …   Wikipedia

  • The Motorcycle Diaries (book) — This article is about the book. For the movie based on the book, see The Motorcycle Diaries (film). The Motorcycle Diaries   …   Wikipedia

  • Middle years of Rabindranath Tagore — The middle years of Rabindranath Tagore were spent primarily in Santiniketan, although they included extensive travels throughout Asia, Europe, and Japan. Santiniketan In 1901, Tagore left Shelaidaha and moved to Shantiniketan, about one hundred… …   Wikipedia

  • Middle East Illusions: Including Peace in the Middle East? Reflections on Justice and Nationhood — is a 2003 book by Noam Chomsky. It includes a collection of essays about the Israeli Palestinian conflict written during the past thirty years. This article about an essay or essay collection is a stub. You can help Wikipedia by …   Wikipedia

  • THE MIDDLE AGES — …   Encyclopedia of Judaism

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”