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By Michael Anesko

Henry James defied posterity to disturb his bones: he was once adamant that his legacy be dependent completely on his guides and that his deepest lifestyles and writings stay eternally inner most. regardless of this, presently after his dying in 1916 an severe fight begun between his kin and his literary disciples to regulate his posthumous recognition, a fight that used to be persisted by way of later generations of critics and biographers. Monopolizing the Master offers a blow-by-blow account of this clash, which aroused excessive emotions of jealousy, suspicion, and proprietorship between those that claimed to be the simply custodians of James's literary legacy. With an extraordinary quantity of latest facts now to be had, Michael Anesko finds the impressive social, political, and sexual intrigue that inspired—and influenced—the planned building of the Legend of the Master.

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Sample text

His uncle quickly reversed his earlier decision not to serialize this material after Charles Scribner strenuously renewed his demand for it. “Why is it,” Scribner inquired of James’s agent, “that you give us no information concerning the two articles to be made from the selected Letters of Mr. ” He could not hide his doubt and disappointment from Pinker.

51 For James’s publishers, however, such supposed rejuvenation was purchased at frightful expense. 52 The barrage of journalistic caricature that had shadowed James during and after his recent American lecture tour (1904–5), ridiculing his supposedly Byzantine sentences, could only have added to his publishers’ anxiety about how well the much-revised texts would be received. ”53 Despite such sweeping claims, to some readers James’s Cornering the Market 15 textual interventions violated a kind of literary ethics.

For years Harry confidently had assumed that, at her death, Katharine Loring intended her printed 24 Cornering the Market copy of the diary—and the original manuscript—to be returned to him for safekeeping; indeed, she had promised him as much in a letter. Instead, now the diary was in print, advertised in all the major papers, even noticed—twice—in the pages of the New York Times. ”86 Receiving her copy from Mary Vaux, Peggy was even more incensed. 87 Peggy also lashed out at Katharine Loring for having given Alice’s diary to Mary Vaux in the first place: why couldn’t she have respected Uncle Henry’s judgment?

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