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What Maisie Knew by Henry James
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What Maisie Knew (1897)

by Henry James

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1,634306,414 (3.41)172
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    The Death of the Heart by Elizabeth Bowen (WSB7, Nickelini)
    WSB7: Striking contrast in the perspicasity and development of the central characters.
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» See also 172 mentions

English (29)  French (1)  All languages (30)
Showing 1-5 of 29 (next | show all)
I found it interesting reading about parents as messed up as my own, and thanks to my own screwy family, I could relate to Maisie's plight very well. She and I have a lot in common. But, while I could relate to the story, I couldn't always precisely follow the story. In this book, Henry James uses so much current slang and pretentious, overly verbose language that it is a chore keeping up with what is going on in this book. In addition, while I sympathize with poor, dear Maisie, I must point out that she lives a very fancy,comfortable life despite the terrible misery James seems to be trying to describe. For readers in the 1900's or 1920's, especially well-to-do readers from conservative backgrounds, I am sure this book made a lot more sense. For me, as a modern 2014 reader who grew up in similar circumstances to the main character's, the choices Maisie makes and the circumstances for them come across a bit differently. I do think that Maisie did well in choosing as she did, because the possibility of her being drawn into a romance of her own, if she had chosen the other option she was given, would have been very awkward and jarring even to my modern moral sense.

Did I like this book? Not exactly. But, I do think it would make a great book to read and discuss in a class or a book club setting. There would be plenty to discuss. ( )
  JBarringer | Dec 30, 2017 |
I found the text rambling and unfathomable, although interested in what Maisie knew the story was difficult to follow. ( )
  Tifi | Mar 15, 2017 |
Nisam baš neki poseban fan Henry Jamesa niti njegovog stila pisanja ali mi je ovdje tema bila jako interesantna. Što s djecom u slučaju razvoda roditelja? U ovom slučaju se radi o jednom djetetu koje je nažalost neželjeni "prtljag" svojih roditelja i koje sazrijeva prije vremena. ( )
  Dinci | Aug 16, 2016 |
Nisam baš neki poseban fan Henry Jamesa niti njegovog stila pisanja ali mi je ovdje tema bila jako interesantna. Što s djecom u slučaju razvoda roditelja? U ovom slučaju se radi o jednom djetetu koje je nažalost neželjeni "prtljag" svojih roditelja i koje sazrijeva prije vremena. ( )
  Dinci | Aug 16, 2016 |
I have finally finished this book. I decided to read a second Henry James novel just to see if it was the book or if I just was not a fan of his work. I can now say I am not a fan of his work.

The story line is the raising of a small girl by her divorced parents. Both parents dislike each other and use the child to find out what each other is doing and use that information to further their mutual dislike and share their feelings with the young child whenever the child is residing with one of the parents.

The parents remarry and the child is introduced to her step-parents. The step-parents each develop a relationship with the child. They become more caring and concerned with her well-being and enjoy spending time with her, unlike her biological parents.

There is also a governess in the cast. She also develops relationship with the child and each of the step-parents.

James' writing style is quite verbose and makes it difficult to understand the relationships and what each adult is trying to accomplish in their relationship with the child. James writes in long, winding sentences that seem to go forward and then double back on themselves to add extra information or explanation of what the meat of the sentence is.

I have read Anthony Trollope, Charles Dickens and others and enjoyed them. Perhaps if I had read this while attending a lit class focused on James I might have a better opinion of his work. As it is...this is my last attempt at reading Henry James. ( )
  ChazziFrazz | Jun 23, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 29 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (18 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Henry Jamesprimary authorall editionscalculated
Gorey, EdwardCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Ricks, ChristopherEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Theroux, PaulEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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The litigation seemed interminable and had in fact been complicated; but by the decision on the appeal the judgement of the divorce-court was confirmed as to the assignment of the child.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0140432485, Paperback)

After her parents' bitter divorce, young Maisie Farange finds herself shuttled between her selfish mother and vain father, who value her only as a means for provoking each other. And when both take lovers and remarry, Maisie - solitary, observant and wise beyond her years - is drawn into an increasingly entangled adult world of intrigue and sexual betrayal, until she is finally compelled to choose her own future. Published in 1897 when Henry James was becoming increasingly experimental with narrative technique and fascinated by the idea of the child's-eye view, "What Maisie Knew" is a subtle, intricate yet devastating portrayal of an innocent adrift in a corrupt society.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:21:52 -0400)

(see all 8 descriptions)

After her parents' bitter divorce, young Maisie finds herself shuttled between her selfish mother, Ida, and her vain father, Beale Farange, who value her only as a means for provoking each other. When both take lovers and remarry, Maisie - solitary, observant and wise beyond her years - is drawn into an entangled adult world of intrigue and sexual betrayal, until she is at last able to cooperate in choosing her own future.… (more)

» see all 23 descriptions

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Penguin Australia

An edition of this book was published by Penguin Australia.

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Urban Romantics

2 editions of this book were published by Urban Romantics.

Editions: 1909676136, 1909676144

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