The Ambassadors (Barnes & Noble Classics Series)

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9781593083786: The Ambassadors (Barnes & Noble Classics Series)
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&&LDIV&&R&&LDIV&&R&&LDIV&&R&&LI&&RThe Ambassadors&&L/I&&R, by &&LB&&RHenry James&&L/B&&R, is part of the &&LI&&RBarnes & Noble Classics&&L/I&&R&&LI&&R &&L/I&&Rseries, which offers quality editions at affordable prices to the student and the general reader, including new scholarship, thoughtful design, and pages of carefully crafted extras. Here are some of the remarkable features of &&LI&&RBarnes & Noble Classics&&L/I&&R: &&LDIV&&R

  • New introductions commissioned from today's top writers and scholars
  • Biographies of the authors
  • Chronologies of contemporary historical, biographical, and cultural events
  • Footnotes and endnotes
  • Selective discussions of imitations, parodies, poems, books, plays, paintings, operas, statuary, and films inspired by the work
  • Comments by other famous authors
  • Study questions to challenge the reader's viewpoints and expectations
  • Bibliographies for further reading
  • Indices & Glossaries, when appropriate
All editions are beautifully designed and are printed to superior specifications; some include illustrations of historical interest. &&LI&&RBarnes & Noble Classics &&L/I&&Rpulls together a constellation of influences―biographical, historical, and literary―to enrich each reader's understanding of these enduring works.&&L/DIV&&R&&L/DIV&&R&&L/DIV&&R&&LDIV&&R &&L/DIV&&R&&LDIV&&ROne of &&LSTRONG&&RHenry James&&L/B&&R’s three late masterpieces, and an exemplar of his complex, mature style, &&LI&&RThe Ambassadors&&L/I&&R is considered by many the author’s finest work. James himself judged it to be “frankly, quite the best, ‘all round,’ of my productions.”&&LBR&&R &&LBR&&RThe story follows Lambert Strether, a staunch and stoical New Englander, as he travels abroad to rescue his employer’s prodigal son, Chad, from the seductive pitfalls of existence in Paris. Yet the social pleasures of the European capital awaken new urges in the fifty-five year old, and he begins to reconsider his own inadequately realized life. He soon beseeches Chad, “Live all you can; it’s a mistake not to. It doesn’t so much matter what you do in particular, so long as you have your life. If you haven’t had that what &&LI&&Rhave&&L/I&&R you had?” &&LBR&&R &&LBR&&RAs Strether himself becomes involved in a relationship with the fascinating Maria Gostrey, a second, more determined, ambassador is dispatched. An ultimatum is delivered―and resisted―but then an accident reveals surprising truths to Strether, and he must decide whether his loyalties lie with old Europe or new America.  &&LBR&&R &&LBR&&RA bittersweet paean to the life not lived, &&LI&&RThe Ambassadors&&L/I&&R is one of the most achingly beautiful and moving novels ever written.&&L/DIV&&R&&LDIV&&R &&L/DIV&&R&&LDIV&&R&&LDIV&&R&&LSTRONG&&RKyle Patrick Smith&&L/B&&R &&L/B&&Rwas raised in San Diego, California, and educated at Harvard. A writer and critic, he lives in Manhattan.&&L/DIV&&R&&L/DIV&&R&&L/DIV&&R

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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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