The Young Master
By Sheldon M. Novick
(Random House Trade Paperbacks, Paperback, 9780812978834, 592pp.)
Publication Date: November 13, 2007
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As if Henry James himself were guiding us, we visit old Calvinist New York in the mid-nineteenth century, and share the coming-of-age of a young man whose boldness of spirit and profound capacity for affection attract both men and women to him. We journey with James through Italy and France, witness his first love affair in Paris, and settle with him in London at the height of Empire in the Victorian Age. We scale the heights of London society with him, and as the world opens to James we share with him the experience of writing a series of celebrated and successful novels, culminating with Washington Square (on which the play The Heiress is based) and his masterpiece The Portrait of a Lady. The Washington Post Book World notes: “It is no small ambition to write a biography of James that is commensurate with that master, and Sheldon Novick has done it.”
“Splendidly written . . . Novick has aimed to bring James back to life and he has succeeded brilliantly.”
–The Washington Post Book World
“Like a movie of James’s life, as it unfold moment to moment.”
–The New York Times
“Masterful in bringing James and his world to life.”
–San Francisco Examiner-Chronicle
“Beautifully written, with a grace that enables [Sheldon Novick] to weave his subject’s words in and out of his own with a properly Jamesian suavity . . . Novick’s account gives one a profound respect for James’s persistence and power of will.”
–The New Republic
Sheldon M. Novick is the author of Henry James: The Mature Master, Henry James: The Young Master and Honorable Justice: The Life of Oliver Wendell Holmes, and is the editor of The Collected Works of Justice Holmes. He is Adjunct Professor of Law and History at Vermont Law School, and lives in Norwich, Vermont.