Home » Languages » English (Sr. Secondary) » Essay, Biography or Paragraph on “Henry James” great author complete biography for Class 10, Class 12 and Graduation and other classes.

Essay, Biography or Paragraph on “Henry James” great author complete biography for Class 10, Class 12 and Graduation and other classes.

Henry James

(1843 1916)

James was an American-born writer, gifted with talents in literature, psychology and philosophy. James wrote 20 novels, 112 stories, 12 plays and a number of works of literary criticism. He was born on April 15, 1843 in New York City into a wealthy family. In his youth James travelled back and forth between Europe and America. He studied with tutors in Geneva, London, Paris, Bologna and Bonn. At the age of 19 he briefly attended Harvard Law School, but preferred reading literature to studying law. James published his first short story, A Tragedy of Errors two years later, and devoted himself to literature. In 1866-69 and 1871-72 he was a contributor to the Nation and Atlantic Monthly.

His first novel, Watch And Ward (1871), was written while he was travelling through Venice and Paris. After living in Paris, where he was contributor to the New York Tribune, James moved to En-gland, living first in London and then in Rye, Sussex. During his first years in Europe James wrote novels that portrayed Americans living abroad. In 1905 James visited America for the first time in twenty-five years, and wrote Jolly Come. Among James’ masterpieces are Daisy Miller (1879), where the young and innocent American, Daisy finds her values in conflict with European sophistication and The Portrait Of A Lady (1881) where again a young American woman becomes a victim of her provincialism during her travels in Europe. The Bostonians (1886) was set in the era of the rising feminist movement. What Maisie Knew (1897) depicted a preadolescent young girl, who must choose between her parents and a motherly old governess. In The Wings Of The Dove (1902) a heritage destroys the love of a young couple. James considered The Ambassadors (1903) his most ‘perfect’ work of art. James’s most famous short story must be The Turn of the Screw, a ghost story in which the question of childhood corruption obsesses a governess. Between 1906 and 1910 James revised many of his tales and novels for the New York edition of his complete works. His autobiography, A Small Boy And Others, appeared in 1913 and was continued in Notes Of A Son And Brother (1914). The third volume, The Middle Tears, appeared posthumously in 1917. The outbreak of World War I was a shock for James and in 1915 he became a British citizen as a declaration of loyalty to his adopted country and in protest against the US’s refusal to enter the war.

James suffered a stroke on December 2, 1915. He died three months later in Rye on February 28, 1916.


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