Henry James

The Princess Casamassima by Henry James (Vintage 1970 Hardcover)

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“The Princess Casamassima” is a novel written by Henry James, first published in 1886. The novel is set in London and explores themes of social and political unrest in the 19th century. The story revolves around the life of Hyacinth Robinson, a young man of mixed English and Italian heritage, who becomes involved with a group of revolutionaries.

Hyacinth is torn between his allegiance to the working-class radicals and his attraction to the aristocratic world. The title character, the Princess Casamassima, represents the aristocracy and serves as a symbol of the upper class. The novel delves into the complexities of social class, political ideology, and personal identity.

The narrative unfolds as Hyacinth grapples with his own beliefs and loyalties, and the story explores the consequences of his choices. James, known for his psychological insight and intricate character development, uses “The Princess Casamassima” to examine the societal tensions of his time.

The novel is considered one of James’s more politically engaged works, reflecting the broader intellectual and social currents of the late 19th century. It’s worth noting that Henry James’s writing style is often characterized by dense and intricate prose, and his works are known for their exploration of the complexities of human relationships and society.


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