“One of the most satisfying of all letter-writers.” — Spectator Henry James’s beautiful letters to his friend and inspiration, the unconventional art collector Isabella Stewart Gardner
Surrounded by the artists, writers and musicians who made up her court in Boston as they did in Venice, Isabella Stewart Gardner, a passionate art collector, was as revered and sought after as royalty. Henry James was inspired by the rich and powerful Gardner, as well as by the Palazzo Barbaro in Venice, when he wrote his novel The Wings of the Dove. Gardner was to recreate a larger-than-life version of Palazzo Barbaro in Boston, which is now the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum.
These dazzling letters bring to life James’s passion for Venice and the Palazzo Barbaro, and serve as an introduction to the fascinating world of Isabella Stewart Gardner herself.
About the Author
Henry James was born on April 15, 1843 in New York City into a wealthy family. In his youth James travelled back and forth between Europe and America. He studied with tutors in Geneva, London, Paris , Bologna and Bonn. At the age of nineteen he briefly attended Harvard Law School, but preferred reading literature to studying law. After living in Paris, where he was contributor to The New York Tribune, James moved to England, living first in London and then in Rye, Sussex. He died in Rye on February 28, 1916.
"His fictions... what drives them is a force as mysteriously elusive as art, known as money. It's this interaction between artistic (or moral) beauty and the brutal workings of power which make James so magnificent an artist." - Terry Eagleton, Guardian
"The critical faculty hesitates before the magnitude of Mr Henry James work. His books stand on my shelves in a place whose accessibility proclaims the habit of frequent communion." - Joseph Conrad, Henry James: An Appreciation
"James is one of the most satisfying of all letter-writers because of thte endlessly surprising plasticity with which he handles the language of even his most trifling communications... and may our correspondence be as lovingly edited and presented as it is here by Dottoressa Rosella Mamoli Zorzi of Venice University." - Jonathan Keates, Spectator