Henry James

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Henry James

Lyndall Gordon

Publisher:Little, Brown Book Group

In 1894 Henry James tried to drown a boatload of dresses belonging to the writer Constance Fenimore Woolson in the Venetian lagoon. She had fallen to her death from her Venice window three months before. James's elusive friendship with Fenimore echoed his mysterious relationship with Minny Temple who had died twenty years earlier at the age of twenty-four. From their graves they haunted his imagination, Minny inspiring the heroines of A Portrait of a Lady and The Wings of the Dove, while Fenimore was resurrected in his stories and in his very vision of a writer's life. Seeking out the hidden stories of the two women, Lyndall Gordon creates a new form of biography in which outward events are peeled back to glimpse unseen collaborators: women vital to the Master's art, who were kept under wraps.

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