To read a story by Henry James is to enter a fully realized world unlike any other—a rich, perfectly crafted domain of vivid language and splendid, complex characters. Devious children, sparring lovers, capricious American girls, obtuse bachelors, sibylline spinsters, and charming Europeans populate these five fascinating nouvelles, which represent the author in both his early and late phases. From the apparitions of evil that haunt the governess in “The Turn of the Screw” to the startling self-scrutiny of an egotistical man in “The Beast in the Jungle,” the mysterious turnings of human behavior are coolly and masterfully observed—proving Henry James to be a master of psychological insight as well as one of the finest prose stylists of modern English literature.
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|Title of eBook: The Turn of the Screw and Other Short Fiction|
|Release Date: 10-28-2008|
|Allowed Countries (hover)|
|Publisher: Random House Publishing Group|
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The Turn of the Screw and Other Short Fiction
The story had held us, round the fire, sufficiently breathless, but except the obvious remark that it was gruesome, as on Christmas Eve in an old house a strange tale should essentially be, I remember no comment uttered till somebody happened to note it as the only case he had met in which such a visitation had fallen on a child. The case, I may mention, was that of an apparition in just such an old house as had gathered us for the occasion—an appearance, of a dreadful kind, to a little boy sleeping in the room with his mother and waking her up in the terror of it; waking her not to dissipate his dread and soothe him to sleep again, but to encounter also herself, before she had succeeded in doing so, the same sight that had shocked him. It was this observation that drew from Douglas—not immediately, but later in the evening—a reply that had the interesting consequence to which I call attention. Some one else told a story not particularly effective, which I saw he was not following. This I took for a sign that he had himself something to produce and that we should only have to wait. We waited in fact till two nights later; but that same evening, before we scattered, he brought out what was in his mind.
“I quite agree—in regard to Griffin’s ghost, or whatever it was—that its appearing first to the little boy, at so tender an age, adds a particular touch. But it’s not the first occurrence of its charming kind that I know to have been concerned with a child. If the child gives the effect another turn of the screw, what do you say to two children—?”
“We say of course,” somebody exclaimed, “that two c