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Washington Suare ❴PDF / Epub❵ ✅ Washington Suare Author Henry James – Thomashillier.co.uk The plot of Washington Suare has the simplicity of old fashioned melodrama a plain looking good hearted young woman the only child of a rich widower is pursued by a charming but unscrupulous man who s The plot of Washington Suare has the simplicity of old fashioned melodrama a plain looking good hearted young woman the only child of a rich widower is pursued by a charming but unscrupulous man who seeks the wealth she will presumably inherit On this premise Henry James constructed one of his most memorable novels a story in which love is answered with betrayal and loyalty leads inexorably to despair from the Introduction by Peter Conn In Washington Suare Henry James reminisces about the New York he had known thirty years before as he tells the story of Catherine Sloper and her fortune seeking suitor Morris Townsend This perceptively drawn human drama is James' most accessible work and an enduring literary triumph Washington Suare Press' Enriched Classics present the great works of world literature enhanced for the contemporary reader This edition of Washington Suare has been prepared by Peter Conn Andrea Mitchell Professor of English at the University of Pennsylvania It includes his introduction notes selection of critical excerpts and suggestions for further reading as well as a uniue visual essay of period illustrations and photographs.


10 thoughts on “Washington Suare

  1. Emily May Emily May says:

    “If you are going to be pushed you had better jump” Almost everyone in this book is awful but I think I liked it?I read Henry James once years ago and I picked The Turn of the Screw which turned out to be a bad decision It put me off for a long time I also hear that James gets a little experimental in his later works delving into that stream of consciousness style that has never really floated my boat which might explain why I heard a lot of complaints about him from English students at university Washington Suare however is of a straight up drama that sees familial duty clashing with a potential romance It's like Austen but infinitely depressing Maybe like Edith Wharton Here James' heroine is the well meaning plain and rich Catherine Sloper She falls deeply in love with a charismatic and broke young man called Morris Townsend whom her father is convinced wants Catherine for her inheritance He refuses to give his blessing to their engagement so Catherine must decide whether to remain loyal to her father or follow her heartThis is considered a classic but don't believe for a second it's not a total soap opera Between Dr Sloper going to interrogate Morris's sister and Catherine's Aunt Lavinia setting up secret meetings to advise Morris how to manipulate the doctor Catherine is just pulled from one drama to the next The doctor's self righteousness his coldness and his inability to respect his daughter's feelings make him an infuriating character And Aunt Lavinia seriously needs to mind her own businessIt's a short read but all the characters are very well drawn and nuanced Even if they are insufferable I enjoyed how James explored all their personal motivations but left a lot open to interpretation I am still not sure what message if any he wished to impart with the novel's conclusion but I do think I am ready to take on The Portrait of a Lady nowBlog | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Youtube


  2. Fionnuala Fionnuala says:

    If I close my eyes and ask myself what impression this book has left on me the idea that comes immediately to mind is stillness The stillness radiates from the main character Catherine Sloper I see her as a monumental figure in a hieratic pose immobile meek but solid to the core Her immobility impressed me greatly especially as this book is uite like a play There is a lot of dialogue a small number of characters and one principal location where most of the important scenes take place The characters circle that space and they circle Catherine She rarely moves and since she pauses before answering every uestion addressed to her we have time to imagine her face turning slowly towards the speaker as she meditates her careful response The result of Catherine's overly cautious responses is that the other characters fail to know her and fail abysmally Though he allows the reader to see of her inner life than the other characters ever guess at Henry James allows Catherine to keep the core of her being a secret even from us I like to think that as he developed his heroine his respect for her grew so that he had no choice but to preserve her privacy and to keep the mystery at the heart of her stillness a mystery to the end That's what I wanted for her and that's what he deliveredWhile Catherine doesn't say very much the other characters than make up for her lack of verbosity The exchanges between Catherine's various relatives reminded me of Jane Austin's ability to deliver witty dialogue line after line of course people don't talk like this in real life but how we wish they did There were in fact many moments during reading when I was reminded of Jane Austin and particularly of Fanny Price from Mansfield Park Like Fanny Catherine is undervalued by her entourage and treated uite badly by certain among them But Fanny acuires a savior Henry James prefers Catherine to be her own savior


  3. Flora Flora says:

    I love this book so much I can't bear it As someone who adores just about every last word that Henry James over wrote it has never gotten any deliciously un satisfying than this a slim tart little novel about plain socially unpromising Catherine Sloper whose wealthy father refuses to allow her to marry Morris Townsend whom he believes to be mercenary No matter how many times I read this book the uestion still nags at me Does Morris have any feeling at all for Catherine or is he really just after her fortune? But why is this even a uestion?It's usually taken for granted that Morris is sketchily drawn the standard handsome and callow fortune hunter of melodrama and his own remarks to other characters in the novel seem to provide ample evidence I'm not fully convinced of this which isn't to say that he's fully drawn; rather I wonder if Morris Townsend might be a kind of failed stereotype a failure of the novel to keep him in his appointed place If he's so successfully sketchy then wouldn't the novel be redundant and its central ambiguity unambiguous? If that were so then Washington Suare would do little than encourage the reader's contemptuous pity for its heroine whose tragedy would be utterly generic her inability to recognize her beloved's venal motives That would be straight up melodrama or mean spirited satire That wouldn't be Henry JamesThe tragedy of the novel depends though on Catherine's father Dr Sloper one of James's most stunning and indelible creations The man despises his daughter yet wants to protect her; he sees through Morris's dandyish charm yet is most offended by the idea that his awkward unlovely daughter would win herself such a handsome charming husband His opposition to the match may be on the one hand patriarchal duty but it is no less an act of cold blooded cruelty and it is through his refusal to allow that the young man may like the money and yet be a fine husband that the real drama of Washington Suare emerges In fact the pressure of this character produces the novel's greatest and least predictable achievement the transformation of Catherine Sloper from a non character the pathetic jilted heiress into a character and the reader's tormented resistance to Dr Sloper not only keeps the door of Morris Townsend ajar but keeps the novel on a wonderfully shaky course morally and aestheticallyIn later years James himself commented that he started Washington Suare with great disdain for Catherine which metamorphosed into something much complicated similar maybe to Tolstoy's creation of Anna Karenina Maybe it's possible then to read Morris Townsend to whose consciousness we only have access in scant sharp shards of observation as the most reflexively novelistic in the book in the sense that his own ambivalent heartlessness may well mirror the novel's own confused motives James ultimately disavowed Washington Suare he even omitted it from his Collected Works but it marks the first appearance of the central conflict that governs his later greatest novels the predation of love upon money and vice versa The moral puzzle of the passionate mercenary haunts his major work and Washington Suare may well mark the death of the non characters villain and victim that started it all A strange beautiful perfectly unsatisfying book


  4. James James says:

    Book Review 4 out of 5 stars for Washington Suare a classic novel written in 1880 by Henry James Henry James is my favorite American realistic period or classic novelist and Washington Suare is an example of why This man can take a small situation and write 300 pages all about it And this is one of his shorter books In this classic the tale of the average woman who is set to inherit a large sum of money meets dashing man but of course he's only after her money She's considered plain looking He's considered ruthless They couldn't possibly be in love And as you follow the course of their romance you see what couples and relationships go through during the courting period at least as it was 150 years ago James is not shy when it comes to providing detailed descriptions of feelings and actions You read his words as though you are in your head thinking about choices and decisions for hours then acting on them This is a very direct story commentary on the normal every day live the differences between classes the way in which women must act to find a husband the efforts men go to so they can be free the attitudes of society towards older women or those who are not considered great beauties When you step away from this book hopefully not too frustrated at the story being so basic and calm you realize it's a reflection on reality on what actually was happening at the time Who would accept it today? Who would tolerate being treated in such a manner? And where do you go when you end up a bit hopeless? Stories like this aren't common nowadays at least in this form But when you put yourself into the time period this is a true treasure About Me For those new to me or my reviews here's the scoop I read A LOT I write A LOT And now I blog A LOT First the book review goes on Goodreads and then I send it on over to my WordPress blog at where you'll also find TV Film reviews the revealing and introspective 365 Daily Challenge and lots of blogging about places I've visited all over the world And you can find all my social media profiles to get the details on the whowhatwhenwhere and my pictures Leave a comment and let me know what you think Vote in the poll and ratings Thanks for stopping by


  5. Agnieszka Agnieszka says:

    Catherine Sloper doesn’t strike us as a representative heroine This novel has definitely expressive and memorable protagonists but it is Catherine who of all residents of the house at Washington Suare draws my attention Though she is neither pretty nor smart she is gentle and kind and painfully shy Just before Washington Suare I read Daisy Miller and now I simply can’t help comparing the main heroines Where Daisy is couettish and reckless Catherine remains modest and immovable Where Daisy fancies for romantic adventure Catherine has her feet firmly on the ground When the first shines and dazzles us with her beauty the other is plain and dull Or so we were told Unlike Daisy Catherine does not want to shine she does not demand our constant attention And though both like nice dresses unfortunately Miss Sloper’s taste leaves a lot to be desired So where Daisy looked lovely and dazzling Catherine appeared old and rather ridiculous Had only Daisy had a bit of Catherine’s common sense Or the other way round what if Catherine was flirtatious in the image of Daisy Miller? Catherine who was extremely modest had no desire to shine and on most social occasions as they are called you would have found her lurking in the backgroundCatherine being respectful and dutiful daughter is nonetheless a great disappointment to her father She has neither beauty of her late mother neither wit of her father Her days go on knitting keeping house visiting relatives and attempting at all cost to please her father Doctor Sloper is remarkable figure He’s a brilliant man renown doctor and he flatters himself being an expert in reading people He has neither good opinion on his sister Lavinia nor his daughter In his estimation Lavinia was like a revolving lighthouse; pitch darkness alternating with a dazzling brilliancy And about Catherine he used to think she is about as intelligent as the bundle of shawls; her main superiority being that while the bundle of shawls sometimes got lost or tumbled out of the carriage Catherine was always at her post and had a firm and ample seatAs one can see Catherine has not an easy life She is a victim of cruel remarks of her brilliant father who does not miss any opportunity any neat bon mot any snide comment even if it would hurt her feelings And his remarks can cut to the uick really She is a victim of her foolish aunt Lavinia whose unbridled appetite for love affair and secret romance makes her push Catherine into the hands of fortune hunter She is a victim of a handsome con man who made her to believe she was loved and wanted because of herself not her money Finally she is a victim of own good character and just awakened heartBut I do not see a victim in her at all I see a woman whose way to independence and self determination is long and bumpy I see a woman whom any humiliation and disappointment will not be spared I see a woman who is fed up with being constantly send to the cornerCatherine loves her father dearly but at the same time she’s afraid of him But it lasts until it dawns to her that father doesn’t love her that he doesn’t see his daughter as an independent self reliant person that he denies her right to own opinion and choices that even her act of rebellion is to him a kind of entertainment and he only thinks that his dull daughter had after all the guts to stand up to him that Catherine wasn’t to him a partner at all And once becoming aware of that fact she’s free She can acknowledge finally the fact that Maurice had trifled with her devotion She can see that aunt Lavinia eased him the task And recognition of that liberates her From her own point of view the great facts of her career were that Morris Townsend had trifled with her affection and that her father had broken its spring Nothing could ever alter these facts; they were always there like her name her age her plain face Nothing could ever undo the wrong or cure the pain that Morris had inflicted on her and nothing could ever make her feel towards her father as she felt in her younger years There was something dead in her life and her duty was to try and fill the voidI liked her loyalty and raw honesty her defiance and stubbornness to make her point her silent opposition to her upbringing to her father Doctor Sloper says at one point of Catherine not being scenic Poor Doctor he couldn’t be wrong And after all he deserved that little revenge from her hand in the end Everyone used to see Catherine as poor thing They couldn’t be wrong either And the fact that Doctor saw through Maurice from the beginning and despite that failed I found highly ironicAfter reading the last passage of the novel I couldn't help but smile when this image came to my mind Let's call it alternative review for Washington Suare though Catherine is too polite to express it that way But I can say it for her view spoiler hide spoiler


  6. Paul Bryant Paul Bryant says:

    Henry James is Gangnam styleGangnam styleCatherine Sloper is warm and humanle during the dayA classy girl who know how to enjoy the freedom of a cup of coffeeA girl whose heart gets hotter when night comesA girl with that kind of twistI’m a guy called Morris TownsendA guy who is as warm as you during the dayA guy who one shots his coffee before it even cools downA guy whose heart bursts when night comesThat kind of guyBeautiful loveableYes you Catherine Sloper yes you heyBeautiful loveableYes you hey yes you heyNow let’s go until the endI don't want your money Catherine SloperI don't want your money Catherine SloperNo yeah noyeahI want youMorris Townsend gangnam styleHenry James is Gangnam style Gangnam styleHenry James is Gangnam style Gangnam styleEh Sexy Lady Henry James is Gangnam styleEh Sexy Lady oh oh oh ohCatherine Sloper looks uiet but plays bridgeShe puts her hair down when the right time comesShe covers herself but is sexy than a girl who bares it allA sensile girl like thatI’m a guy called Morris TownsendI said it once now I say it againA guy who seems calm but plays when he playsA guy who goes completely crazy when the right time comesA guy who has bulging ideas rather than musclesThat kind of guyOn top of the running man is the flying man baby babyOh oh the daddy is the flying man babyDr Austin Sloper a wealthy and highly successful physicianYou know what I mean babyYou know what I'm saying babyParasitic spendthrift oh no noParasitic spendthrift oh no noParasitic spendthrift oh no noParasitic spendthrift oh no noFat balding cold eyed but still somewhat attractiveFat balding cold eyed but still somewhat attractiveFat balding cold eyed but still somewhat attractiveYeahWatch out – here comes the daddyBoo hoo – gangnam styleBoo hoo – gangnam styleHenry James is Gangnam style Gangnam styleHenry James is Gangnam style Gangnam style


  7. Jim Fonseca Jim Fonseca says:

    Here we are in New York City in the mid 1880's a bit before Edith Wharton's time but in the same social milieu This is a kind of novel of manners a mid 19th Century soap opera Our author is Henry James so be prepared for the long convoluted comma and semicomma laden sentences akin to those of Jane AustenYet a fascinating book Catherine or less our heroine is plain stolid timid obedient and uite frankly a bit on the dull side She lives in her father's house With her mother deceased a widowed aunt is her caretaker and companion Catherine is in her late 20's when a suitor finally appears a late age for that era Her suitor would be uite a catch for a gal like Catherine so her father a wealthy physician immediately recognizes and so do we that he's after her inheritance Her father forbids the marriage and in that process we learn that he is vindictive petty tyrannical bullying and wait there's something even worse he doesn't really even LIKE his daughterThe novel fast forwards in the final chapters so we get to see how it all works out decades in the future It's great writing it's Henry James after all A good book for those who have a taste for the obliue references and flowery style of writing from that era


  8. Sue Sue says:

    My first completed book of the year and one that has totally altered my view of Henry James and his fiction Instead of being what I had thought of as the somber master of cold 19th century fiction he is a man with sharp and perceptive humor a clever sense of ineualities between sexes and in society My enlightenment is partially responsible for my rating though I also enjoyed the novelThe story is really uite simplewealthy father knows what is best for future heiress daughter Rogue suitor comes to town and captures her heart but does not pull the wool over daddy's eyes Silly Aunt plays go between and girl falls as deeply in love as a 19th century novel allows us to see But James does not stop there he provides so much by giving us asides filled will sarcastic humorous digs at various characters revealing deeper traitsIn one exchange with his sister Mrs Almond Dr Sloper and she are discussing are discussing how the doctor will manage the situation 'You are shockingly cold blooded' said Mrs Almond 'I need to be with all this hot blood about me Young Townsend indeed is cool; I must allow him that merit' p 144And later James briefly summarizes three of the main actors Mrs Penniman of the three persons in Washington Suare had much the most of the manner that belongs to a great crisis If Catherine was uiet she was uietly uietIf the doctor was stiff and dry and absolutely indifferent to the presence of his companions it was so lightly neatly easily donethat you would have had to know him well to discover thathe enjoyed having to be so disagreeable But Mrs Penniman was elaborately reserved and significantly silent; there was a richer rustle in the very deliberate movements to which she confined herself and when she occasionally spoke in connection with some very trivial event she had the air of meaning something deeper than what she said p 152And as a final briefer selection describing Mrs Penniman once 'You leave him in good hands' she said pressing her lips to Catherine's forehead She was fond of kissing people's foreheads; it was an involuntary expression of sympathy with the intellectual part p 159I have perhaps fallen for the style than the story here but one adds to the other Certainly I will seek out many of James' novels in the future The intimidation of the past is goneWonderful introduction for me as I've only read A Turn of The Screw in the past


  9. Perry Perry says:

    James Writes Fiction as if it were a Painful Duty Oscar Wilde One of the Nicest Old Ladies I Ever Met Faulkner describing JamesOn my journey to read most of the modern classics as well as at least one novel by each renowned author I've repeatedly avoided Henry James Several years back I started on one and found myself daydreaming that my late grandmother was offering a sudsy solilouy on a couple of nice and clean romances of her time the 1930s In all events I finally opted for Washington Suare primarily because it's his shortest novel Despite a few pretty turns of prose and exuisite character delineation I found the driving narrative and dialogue passionless and soporific with characters so melancholy and settings so glum I soon did not care one wit about what happened Instead as I read my terrible need to be put out of my misery was lucky for me ultimately staunched by my innate sense of survivalIn sum this is the unhappy story of a rich controlling widowed father and his only child Catherine whom the dad deems unattractive unintelligent and uninteresting I too find alliteration effective to describe a novel that is Unbearable Unrelatable EnnuiA young man asks his daughter to marry shortly after meeting her at a society party in Washington Suare NYC Daddy suspects a money motive and forbids the marriage else he'll disinherit the daughter It sounded like a good plot Oh well to say any would ruin for you a story that I could not force myself to finish My Conception of Catherine Sloper as played by James Spader President Teddy Roosevelt was overly cruel when he called Henry James a little emasculated mass of inanity To Oscar Wilde's assessment though I shout AMEN


  10. Kalliope Kalliope says:

    STICKY SUARE Since I plan to be walking around Washington Suare in a few months I picked up this book for a reread I can’t even remember exactly when I first tackled it but I am delighted with my revisit the book and the suare And rereads are lately becoming highly enjoyable venturesMy enjoyment with Washington Suare may lead to a rerun and a completion task of the major novels by Henry James I am already familiar with a few but I have read them at different times in my life and in no particular order It is time I consolidate my impression of his writingWhat I did not expect in this revisit is the degree in which I relished lounging in James prose Even though this is an early work I felt such pleasure in drinking his writing as if the lines of his book were fresh water drunk avidly after a long walk or run in the heat of a summer day Reading James had an almost sedative effectI was somewhat taken aback when I found how familiar some of his syntax seemed to me The way he strung words together evoked a similar pleasure to that of recognizing a painter’s work just by the texture of the brushstroke I noticed his attention to prepositions which for a non English speaker is therefore baffling He shifts them and this shifting had at times an euivalent effect to that of a purple dub in a shadow I am told he lives upon her Lives upon her? Lives with her This example also contains another one of James’s idiomatic uses The repetitions in his dialogues of expressions that seems ambiguous not only to the reader but the characters in the novel as well Like throwing light to an obscure corner in a poorly lit room Here is another sample Why are you so dry Catherine? So dry? So cold—so irresponsive The main character is an exercise of the maxim ‘show and not tell’ We are told from the beginning mostly by hearing her father’s hammering opinion that Catherine Sloper is a non interesting character She is bland dull and insipid In the early pages I asked myself then how James would deal with the challenge he had clearly set himself how he would win the reader’s interest in someone that he first presents as offering no interest So in spite of the chorus that accompanies every appearance of Catherine singing or extolling her lack of luster the reader gradually very gradually sees emerging out of her flat mist a very enigmatic firm and rightful figure She is ‘substantial’ after all But then she could not be otherwise if she were ‘going to stick’ This is after all a story of Catherine’s ‘stickiness’I imagine that many other readers would not share my reaction to Doctor Sloper for I found myself liking him Of course he is the culprit of much that Catherine has to suffer He is responsible for branding her and thereby determining her life More so than the right to arbitrate his progeny that any father may feel entitled to But I also liked his rightfulness his intuition and also that his curiosity seemed to take the upper hand over his drive to authoritarianism In this reading I paid particular attention to the fleeting references to time and place Which streets or avenues are mentioned the topography of that rapidly changing city what are the perceived differences between Europe and the still forming new country etc Although this is most of all a study of character the visual elements for me stood out precisely because there are not many of themBeautiful work So soon Roderick Hudson and Daisy Miller


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