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He is more of a gentleman with a sophisticated mind and tastes. The harpy destroyer of his innocence, Madame de Vionnet, turns out to be an elegant and charming woman who is currently separated from her husband. Strether can't figure out if Chad is in love with Vionnet our her young daughter, or if he is in love with neither.

He begins to realize that he hasn't really ever had time to experience and enjoy life and maybe it's not to late to find a small bit of happiness in Paris among young minds and art.

The Ambassadors Second Edition Norton Critical Editions

Henry James himself ranked this novel as his best so I thought it would be a great place to try reading his work for the first time. Unfortunately, this book is from his "late period" which means its language is a lot more convoluted and dense and can be a bit hard to understand coming into it unaware as I did. The experience to me was closest to reading Shakespeare for the first time. At points all through this book I would read pages and the realize that I had no idea what had just occurred.

And I consider myself an above average reader. A casual reader would lose interest in this book in the first few pages. As you start reading you catch the broad strokes of the action and you have to use context clues not to infer meaning from individual words but whole sections of text.

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The great thing was that the more of the book you read, the more beautiful it becomes because your mind starts to get used to the style and is able to decode the meaning of the text. By the end of the book, the language and sentence construction no longer bothered me and I was able to greatly enjoy it. I would say the main conflict of the book is Strether's regret.

The fact that at 55, he starts to question his life choices and for the first time, he begins to think about what he wants to do with his life. Fortunately for him, within the confines of this novel, he discovers that maybe he still has TIME to sort out his future. Does he want to go home and marry Mrs Newsome, does he want to stay in Paris and get together with one of the other women he has met, or does he want to stay single?

He's ended up middle aged, repressed, depressed, and dull, but at least the author gives Strether the opportunity to make something of his inner life even at this late stage in his life. You'll have to read the book to see if Strether seizes the opportunity he's been given. The prose in The Ambassadors isn't so much "written" as "crafted". James pushes the English language to near its limits for complexity of sentence construction, with multiple thoughts often nested into a single sentence. Fortunately for the reader, deciphering the prose is made easier by the fact that the vocabulary employed is generally accessible and commonplace.

I'm not a particularly quick reader to begin with, and I had to read this book at perhaps half my normal pace re-reading many sentences to boot in order to glean most of what was being said. Most, not all; there were quite a few clauses I simply couldn't pick the meaning out of.

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No need to summarize the plot as other reviews here have already done so with spoilers a plenty I might add. The story had me rooting for the protagonist Strether from the start and made the book difficult to put down. It's easy to sympathize with his predicament; he's conflicted between his natural desire for self-preservation and his reluctance to force Chad to do something against his will.

The reality is this tiny stratum of French society is only accessible to very few and could not be experienced directly by most readers; the Old World in the novel isn't painted faithfully. Kindle Edition Verified Purchase. Honestly, it is not a book which I find easy to read and understand.

Not formally trained in English literary studies, I have found Henry James's writing extremely hard to follow. The prose all along is long, discursive, distracting, like a mud trail that leads me into a big big forest.

I have felt very lost sometimes, as the hint I had thought it was given by the author turned out leading me the other way. So, as a book worm, this book is so challenging.

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And, compared to great authors about the times like Charles Dickens, Henry James's plot is more adaptable to what city people think at our times, 21st century. But it will take you a lot of time, thought and energy once you pick up. See all 91 reviews.


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English Choose a language for shopping. Not Enabled Word Wise: Enabled Amazon Best Sellers Rank: Amazon Music Stream millions of songs. I noticed it for the first time when I was doing a report on Hans Holbein recently. It is a known fact that Hans Holbein the Younger had a brother who was apparently his partner in business.

This brother died young and never became an established artist. Consider too the fact that these two brothers were raised by their father who was also a painter and very likely trained his sons to view their trade as an act of service to the church. If there were a layer of self representation in this work, the could the Lute with the broken string represent Hans, alive and prosperous but unsatisfied with to purpose his work has served? The 2nd Lute, the unknown entity hidden under the table could represent his late brother.

Does this lute have all its strings in tact?

The Ambassadors: Annotated Edition: Henry James: ogozoqosolym.tk: Books

Does it even have any strings at all? Could the 2nd loot represent a life cut short, which never had to face the discord of the world that is portrayed in this enigmatic painting? I studied this painting for my Masters, some of my research is here https: That painting is REAL and certainly a noteworthy piece depicting the 16th century. Politics, Popery, Signs, Astrology, and Geography abound.

His artwork fully contended with various symbols which correspond to time and relevant historical records.

The Ambassadors (Annotated) (Paperback)

It perhaps provoked concentration of so many Holbein imitations long after, not to mention his other staggering verisimilitude artistic paintings http: He truly is a great contributor to British and even the world culture itself. You are commenting using your WordPress. You are commenting using your Twitter account. You are commenting using your Facebook account. Notify me of new comments via email. Facebook Twitter Email Google. Leave a Reply Cancel reply Enter your comment here Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Email required Address never made public.