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The Golden Bowl (1904)

by Henry James

Other authors: See the other authors section.

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2,315194,693 (3.61)179
A rich American art-collector and his daughter Maggie buy in for themselves and to their greater glory a beautiful young wife and a noble husband. They do not know that Charlotte and Prince Amerigo were formerly lovers, nor that on the eve of the Prince's marriage they had discovered, in aBloomsbury antique shop, a golden bowl with a secret flaw. When the golden bowl is broken, Maggie must leave the security of her childhood and try to reassemble the pieces of her shattered happiness.In this, the last of his three great poetic masterpieces, James combined with a dazzling virtuosity elements of social comedy, of mystery, terror, and myth. The Golden Bowl is the most controversial, ambiguous, and sophisticated of James's novels.… (more)

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» See also 179 mentions

English (17)  Spanish (2)  All languages (19)
Showing 1-5 of 17 (next | show all)
This is a book about bored rich people whose pastimes are buying splendid objects, showing off the objects, walking about and dramatic looks and silences. Maggie and her father have a strange close relationship. Charlotte and Amerigo are in love but marry others for money! They are left alone together, as their spouses, Maggie and her father, ignore them in order to spend semi- romantic, and inappropriate, interludes. Amerigo and Charlotte resume their premarital love affair. What follows are overly dramatic looks, silences and martyrdom! ( )
  Chrissylou62 | Aug 1, 2020 |
Very challenging but well worth the effort! ( )
1 vote dale01 | May 21, 2019 |
Although adequately written, this novel is dull. I found, as a reader, I did not care for the characters or the plot. I also feel as if it did not age well with the passage of time. It is a shame, as The Turn of the Screw was a much better work. ( )
  DanielSTJ | Dec 17, 2018 |
Incredibly internal and intimate novel. I struggled with sections that felt meandering but overall I found it a very impressive work. ( )
  brakketh | Jul 2, 2018 |
A difficult book to rate. Henry James writes beautifully, that is, if you can understand the convoluted sentences, which may take you re-readings. It is also a difficult plot to fathom cos it is being told chiefly from the viewpoint of Maggie, which isn't explicit. Parts of the plot are also told through the dialogue of the Assinghams, which is again not explicit. Maggie is a character that you dislike the more the plot develops, she assumes too much and thinks that she knows. She sees knowledge as power and seeks to deprive others of it. ( )
1 vote siok | Aug 20, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 17 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (36 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Henry Jamesprimary authorall editionscalculated
Donoghue, DenisIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Vidal, GoreIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Vidal, GoreForewordsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Yeazell, Ruth BernardEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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The Prince had always liked his London, when it had come to him; he was one of the modern Romans who find by the Thames a more convincing image of the truth of the ancient state than any they have left by the Tiber.
Quotations
Mr. Gutermann-Seuss proved, on the second day - our friend had waited till then - a remarkably genial, a positively lustrous young man occupying a small neat house in a quarter of the place remote from the front and living, as immediate and striking signs testified, in the bosom of his family. Our visitors found themselves introduced, by the operation of close contiguity, to a numerous group of ladies and gentlemen older and younger, and of children larger and smaller, who mostly affected them as scarce less anointed for hospitality and who produced at first the impression of a birthday party, or some anniversary gregariously and religiously kept, though they subsequently fell into their places as members of one quiet domestic circle, preponderantly and directly indebted for their being in fact to Mr. Gutermann-Seuss.
“His relation to the things he cares for is absolutely romantic.... it’s the most romantic thing I know.”
“You mean his idea for his native place?”
“Yes – the collection, the Museum with which he wishes to endow it, and of which he thinks more, as you know, than of anything in the world. It’s the work of his life and the motive of everything he does.... You’re a part of his collection ... You’re a rarity, an object of beauty, an object of price.... You’re what they call a morceau de musée.”
Representative precious objects, great ancient pictures and other works of art, fine eminent “pieces” in gold, in silver, in enamel, majolica, ivory, bronze, had for a number of years so multiplied themselves round him and, as a general challenge to acquisition and appreciation, so engaged all the faculties of his mind, that the instinct, the particular sharpened appetite of the collector, had fairly served as a basis for his acceptance of the Prince’s suit.
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A rich American art-collector and his daughter Maggie buy in for themselves and to their greater glory a beautiful young wife and a noble husband. They do not know that Charlotte and Prince Amerigo were formerly lovers, nor that on the eve of the Prince's marriage they had discovered, in aBloomsbury antique shop, a golden bowl with a secret flaw. When the golden bowl is broken, Maggie must leave the security of her childhood and try to reassemble the pieces of her shattered happiness.In this, the last of his three great poetic masterpieces, James combined with a dazzling virtuosity elements of social comedy, of mystery, terror, and myth. The Golden Bowl is the most controversial, ambiguous, and sophisticated of James's novels.

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Penguin Australia

An edition of this book was published by Penguin Australia.

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Urban Romantics

An edition of this book was published by Urban Romantics.

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