Washington Square

Washington Square : A Simple Tragicomedy

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Washington Square - By Henry James - Dr. Austin Sloper, a wealthy and highly successful physician, lives in Washington Square, New York with his daughter Catherine. Catherine is a sweet-natured young woman who is a great disappointment to her father, being physically plain and, he believes, dull in terms of personality and intellect. His sister, Lavinia Penniman, a meddlesome woman with a weakness for romance and melodrama, is the only other member of the doctor's household. One day, Catherine meets the charming Morris Townsend at a party and is powerfully drawn to him. Townsend courts Catherine. Sloper strongly disapproves, believing Townsend to be a 'selfish idler' who is after Catherine's money alone. Penniman, however, regards the situation as romantic, and continually meddles in an attempt to bring the two together. When Townsend and Catherine announce their engagement, Sloper investigates Townsend's background, and believes him to be a parasitic spendthrift. Sloper forbids his daughter to marry Townsend, telling her that he will disinherit her if she does. Sloper largely intends this threat as a stratagem to flush Townsend out: if Townsend responds by breaking off the engagement, not only will Sloper have succeeded in preventing the marriage, but his assessment of Townsend's character will also be proven correct. Townsend, however, suspects that Sloper is bluffing, and that he will not leave his daughter penniless - indeed this question is left unanswered even to the reader. Townsend therefore continues the engagement, but repeatedly defers scheduling the wedding.show more

Product details

  • Paperback | 136 pages
  • 177.8 x 254 x 7.87mm | 326.58g
  • Createspace
  • United States
  • English
  • black & white illustrations
  • 1514827808
  • 9781514827802

About Henry James

Henry James, OM (15 April 1843 - 28 February 1916) was an American writer who spent most of his writing career in Britain. He is regarded as one of the key figures of 19th-century literary realism. He was the son of Henry James, Sr. and the brother of philosopher and psychologist William James and diarist Alice James. He is best known for a number of novels showing Americans encountering Europe and Europeans. His method of writing from a character's point of view allowed him to explore issues related to consciousness and perception, and his style in later works has been compared to impressionist painting. His imaginative use of point of view, interior monologue and unreliable narrators brought a new depth to narrative fiction.show more

Rating details

14,162 ratings
3.66 out of 5 stars
5 20% (2,895)
4 39% (5,457)
3 30% (4,282)
2 8% (1,183)
1 2% (345)
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