New Essays on the American

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The American (1877) was written the very year Henry James committed himself to making his way as an author outside America. It thus formed part of the brief that James had to draw up both for and against his countrymen. This 1987 collection of essays casts light on this and other major aspects of the novel: the French literary influences on James as he gravitated between the genres of the romantic and the realistic novel; the many-layered French political scene that he incorporated into the novel; the complex gender roles of his characters; and the pervasive effect of capitalism upon them.