The Letters of Henry James, Volume I
Publication Date: January 1974
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Here at last is the first volume of the long-awaited edition of Henry James letters by the world's foremost Jamesian scholar.
James was a superlative letter-writer; his correspondence constitutes one of the greateat self-portraits in all literature. In this edition Mr. Edel, respecting James's view that only the best of a writer's letters deserve publication, skims the cream of the fifteen thousand letters collected or discovered, many by the biographer himself, since the novelist's death in 1916.
In volume one, the first of a projected four, he provides a general introduction and a necessary minimum of annotation, and prefaces each section--Boyhood and Youth; Beginnings; The Grand Tour; A Season in Cambridge; Travel and Opportunity; and The Choice--with an informative account of James's attitudes and activities during the period in question. The volume closes, appropriately, with James's decision in 1875, at age thirty-two, to move permanently to Europe.
Among his many accomplishments over some forty years devoted to James scholarship, Leon Edel was the author of the monumental five-volume"Life of Henry James", which won both the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Award. He was Citizens Professor of English at the University of Hawai i.