Thursday, February 28, 2013

R.I.P. Henry James

Today was the 97th anniversary of Henry James' death. He is by far my favorite "classic" writer. To Mr. James, I lift a glass of port and say, "Well lived, well written, well read, dear Mr. James!"

This famous portrait of Henry James was painted by (who else?) John Singer Sargent, in 1912. There is an earlier sketch by Sargent, too. The two met in 1883 and James was very taken by the young, handsome and talented Euro-American artist, and was instrumental in helping Sargent find many clients in England after he'd "fled" from France. I couldn't resist writing more than one scene in my novel that featured James.

Two recent books for James fans: The Master, a novel by Colm Toibin, and Portrait of a Novel, non-fiction about one of James's most famous novels, by Michael Gorra.

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