Peter Brooks

  • The Awkward Age

    There is an early letter, from the twenty-four-year-old Henry James in Cambridge to his brother William in Paris, where William has been to the theater to see a play by Alexandre Dumas. Henry wishes he could have been there with him; it turns out he has already read the play “& was keenly sensible both of its merits & defects.” Then he interjects: “Wendell Holmes is gone salmon-fishing in Maine. The Spring is well started as to verdure; but the air is cold & the skies gray.” This is our early picture of Henry James: musing in Cambridge on European arts and letters while his somewhat self-consciously