Henry James: History, Narrative, Fiction

Hardcover | June 1, 1994

byRoslyn Jolly

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This is a study of Henry James's changing attitudes to history as a narrative model, tracing the development from his early interest in `scientific' historiography to the radically anti-historical character of his late works.James's use of the term `history' was influenced by developments in nineteenth-century historiography, but was also embedded in the complex of defensive manoeuvres through which Victorian culture sought to control its anxiety about the power of fiction. Reading James's novels in the light ofcontemporary debates about the morality and authorship and the politics of reading, Dr Jolly finds that fiction develops from being history's censored `other' in the early works to being a valued mode of problem-solving in the later fiction. This shift may be seen as the product of James'sincreasing engagement with the reading practices of groups marginalized by high Victorian culture: women, the working class, other cultures, and the avant-garde. The book ends with a consideration of the challenge posed to James's radical anti-historical epistemology by the unprecedented violenceof twentieth-century history.Drawing on contemporary narrative theory, and providing illuminating readings of a large number of James's novels, Roslyn Jolly had written a sophisticated and persuasive analysis of James's shifting definitions of history and fiction.

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This is a study of Henry James's changing attitudes to history as a narrative model, tracing the development from his early interest in `scientific' historiography to the radically anti-historical character of his late works.James's use of the term `history' was influenced by developments in nineteenth-century historiography, but was a...

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This is a study of Henry James's changing attitudes to history as a narrative model, tracing the development from his early interest in 'scientific' historiography to the radically antihistorical character of his late works. James's use of the term 'history' was influenced by developments in nineteenth-century historiography, but was a...

Roslyn Jolly is at University of Newcastle, Australia.

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Format:HardcoverDimensions:250 pages, 8.5 × 5.43 × 0.79 inPublished:June 1, 1994Publisher:Oxford University Press

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0198119852

ISBN - 13:9780198119852

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`Jolly has produced a timely reminder, by way of a particular study of the large and complex case of Henry James, of the difficult and changing relationship between fiction and history. Treating James's voluminous work in little more than 200 pages inescapably entails selection, although herethat selection is well-judged and the attendant danger of the imposition of an overly schematic thesis is, by and large, avoided.'John M. Lyon, University of Bristol, Review of English Studies, Vol. 47, No. 186, May '96