By Alan W. Bellringer (auth.)
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But the New Englanders prefer modesty and honesty. The fact that Eugenia applies European social routines to a private American situation tells against her. Yet she has some grounds to be annoyed with the Actons for disapproving of her just for telling a white lie. The episode, with its anger, failure of communication, moral impasse, is both amusing and sad. It has the winsome note which is also found in the subtlest scenes in Tolstoy. Balanced against the Baroness's somewhat enervated view of things is Felix's un-self-reproachful hedonism, which is, despite the lack of moral gravity, associated by James with a love of the arts such as he had inherited from his own New York upbringing.
From Oxford. Also in 1912, he gave a lecture on Browning to the Royal Society of Literature. In 1913 he took a flat in Carlyle Mansions, Cheyne Walk, Chelsea, for winter residence. He loved this point of vantage, upstream from the administrative and commercial capital, and very redolent of Victorian literature. Here on his seventieth birthday he received a present of a silver gilt Charles II porringer and dish from nigh upon three hundred distinguished admirers, from Nancy Astor to Virginia Woolf; they also commissioned J.
In particular in this period there is in James's fiction a satirical attack on French or French-influenced aristocratic behaviour as judged by American democratic, liberal standards. The viewpoint inevitably, then, takes for granted some economic power in the characters: the power to command the resources for travel, language-learning, art-appreciation and leisure. Above all, there is enough money to court the other sex with discrimination, to select sexual partners according to taste. Urbanity prevails, given scope by the absence of urgency over basic needs.