Modern Classics Ambassadors (Penguin Modern Classics)

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9780141186252: Modern Classics Ambassadors (Penguin Modern Classics)
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When Chadwick Newsome, a young American favoured with fortune and independence, becomes entangled in a liaison dangereux with a Parisian temptress, his overbearing mother deploys her future husband, the elderly, amiable Strether, as an ambassador toengineer his safe return. But seduced by the ambient charms of Paris and the bewitching comtesse de Vionnet, Strether soon deserts to Chadwick's side, initiating a sparkling tale of mistaken intentions, comic accident and false allegiances which culminates in the deployment of another, less fallible ambassador - the cold, glittering, ruthless Sarah Pocock.

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Review:

The Ambassadors, which Henry James considered his best work, is the most exquisite refinement of his favorite theme: the collision of American innocence with European experience. This time, James recounts the continental journey of Louis Lambert Strether--a fiftysomething man of the world who has been dispatched abroad by a rich widow, Mrs. Newsome. His mission: to save her son Chadwick from the clutches of a wicked (i.e., European) woman, and to convince the prodigal to return to Woollett, Massachusetts. Instead, this all-American envoy finds Europe growing on him. Strether also becomes involved in a very Jamesian "relation" with the fascinating Miss Maria Gostrey, a fellow American and informal Sacajawea to her compatriots. Clearly Paris has "improved" Chad beyond recognition, and convincing him to return to the U.S. is going to be a very, very hard sell. Suspense, of course, is hardly James's stock-in-trade. But there is no more meticulous mapper of tone and atmosphere, nuance and implication. His hyper-refined characters are at their best in dialogue, particularly when they're exchanging morsels of gossip. Astute, funny, and relentlessly intelligent, James amply fulfills his own description of the novelist as a person upon whom nothing is lost. --Rhian Ellis

Book Description:

Henry James considered his late novel The Ambassadors (1903) 'quite the best, 'all round'' of all his works. This volume based on the first book edition provides extensive annotations, a detailed textual history of the work and a full introduction exploring the novel's literary, cultural and historical contexts.

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Other Popular Editions of the Same Title

9780141441320: The Ambassadors (Penguin Classics)

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Publisher: Penguin Classics, 2008
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9781841593746: The Ambassadors

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