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Washington Square (Signet Classics) by Henry…

Washington Square (Signet Classics) (original 1880; edition 2004)

by Henry James, Michael Cunningham (Afterword)

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2,923571,968 (3.75)249
Title:Washington Square (Signet Classics)
Authors:Henry James
Other authors:Michael Cunningham (Afterword)
Info:Signet Classics (2004), Paperback, 240 pages
Collections:Your library
Tags:Book Club, USA

Work details

Washington Square by Henry James (1880)

  1. 20
    Eugénie Grandet by Honoré de Balzac (Sakerfalcon)
    Sakerfalcon: Similar stories of daughters oppressed by overbearing fathers, and what happens when a young suitor enters their lives ...
  2. 00
    The Aspern Papers by Henry James (alalba)
  3. 00
    The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald (zasmine)
    zasmine: Very well defined characters here too

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» See also 249 mentions

English (54)  French (1)  Spanish (1)  Japanese (1)  All languages (57)
Showing 1-5 of 54 (next | show all)
Still can't decide whether to admire Catherine or feel terribly sorry for her. ( )
  lunaluxor | Oct 29, 2015 |
a Circular Plot with a twisted ending ( )
  Mohamed80 | Jul 11, 2015 |
After learning that one of my favorite movies, "The Heiress" was based on this book by Henry James, I knew I had to read it someday. I ended up listening to it on Audible and loved it! I just love the formal language, the setting (time and place), and the story. I didn't like the characters, though, as they were either cruel, manipulative, annoying, or stupid. I don't understand why Catherine never married anyone else and why she couldn't see Morris for who he really was. And why did her father insist on being so cruel to his daughter and change his will, years after Morris left? In retrospect, the storyline was pretty well drawn out and kind of weird - dwelling on the Catherine/Morris ill-fated romance for over 20 years. But I still loved the book and the narration was spot on. Now I want to see the movie again, as well as a later version of the movie that I have not seen before. ( )
  sandra.k.heinzman | Apr 2, 2015 |
New York City ( )
  EBT1002 | Feb 19, 2015 |
I remember reading, a long time ago, about a young woman who was enjoying Henry James, until someone asked her "But don't you find James very difficult?": after which she realized Henry James was difficult. Having that story in mind when I began, I was pleased to discover that James is difficult in a very specific way - to wit, his laughably long paragraphs. The first paragraph of Washington Square is two and a half pages long, and I noted one that ran to three pages (this in a trade paperback having quite small type). Frightened? You shouldn't be, for they are such tidy, controlled paragraphs, you won't feel lost. In fact, I quite like James's style. He paints his characters with immaculate precision and arranges them in a tableau of classic drama - unattractive girl, unsuitable suitor, domineering father, ludicrous aunt - that makes me think he was a big Austen fan. This is a realistic novel, not a romance, so don't take that comparison too far, but I would nevertheless recommend this to an Austen aficionado who has a little more depth than to demand a happy ending every time.

Mrs. Penniman was a tall, thin, fair, rather faded woman, with a perfectly amiable disposition, a high standard of gentility, a taste for light literature, and a certain foolish indirectness and obliquity of character. She was romantic, she was sentimental, she had a passion for little secrets and mysteries - a very innocent passion, for her secrets had hitherto always been as unpractical as addled eggs. She was not absolutely veracious; but this defect was of no great consequence, for she had never had anything to conceal. She would have liked to have a lover, and to correspond with him under an assumed name in letters left at a shop; I am bound to say that her imagination never carried the intimacy farther than this. Mrs. Penniman had never had a lover, but her brother, who was very shrewd, understood her turn of mind. "When Catherine is about seventeen," he said to himself, "Lavinia will try and persuade her that some young man with a moustache is in love with her. It will be quite untrue; no young man, with a moustache or without, will ever be in love with Catherine. But Lavinia will take it up, and talk to her about it; perhaps, even, if her taste for clandestine operations doesn't prevail with her, she will talk to me about it. Catherine won't see it, and won't believe it, fortunately for her peace of mind; poor Catherine isn't romantic."

Review from my blog, This Space Intentionally Left Blank ( )
  emepps | Jan 23, 2015 |
Showing 1-5 of 54 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (47 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Henry Jamesprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Arbonès, JordiTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Auchincloss, LouisIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Balseiro, María LuisaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Bonnafont, ClaudeTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Hall, DonaldAfterwordsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Heesen, Martha,Translatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
James, LloydNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Ozick, CynthiaIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Poole, AdrianEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Smith, Lawrence BeallIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Van Doren, MarkIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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First words
During a portion of the first half of the present century, and more
particularly during the latter part of it, there flourished and
practised in the city of New York a physician who enjoyed perhaps an
exceptional share of the consideration which, in the United States,
has always been bestowed upon distinguished members of the medical
The years have passed very quietly.
She liked to wait, it intensified the situation.
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice
This is the main work for Washington Square by Henry James. It should not be combined with any adaptation, abridgement, etc.
Publisher's editors
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References to this work on external resources.

Wikipedia in English


Book description
Conflict relationships. The heroine's naivete against the heartless ambition and hypocrisy of her suitor and the ruthlessness of her father. He is wise and knows what her suitor is after but his way of dealing with his daughter is heartless.
Haiku summary

Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0140432264, Paperback)

Washington Square (1881), by Henry James, tells the story of Catherine Sloper, the plain, obedient daughter of the widowed, well-to-do Dr. August Sloper of Washington Square. When a handsome, feckless man-about-town proposes to Catherine, her father forbids the marriage because he believes the man to be after Catherine's fortune and future inheritance. The conflict between father, daughter, and suitor provokes consequences in the lives of all three that make this story one of James's most piercingly memorable.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:21:37 -0400)

(see all 7 descriptions)

In the Washington Square area of New York City in the late nineteenth century, devastating betrayals by both her father and her lover leave shy and fragile Catherine Sloper permanently scarred.

(summary from another edition)

» see all 14 descriptions

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8 editions of this book were published by Audible.com.

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Penguin Australia

3 editions of this book were published by Penguin Australia.

Editions: 0141441364, 0141194979, 0141389494

The Library of America

An edition of this book was published by The Library of America.

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Recorded Books

An edition of this book was published by Recorded Books.

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Tantor Media

An edition of this book was published by Tantor Media.

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