Henry James, 1878
80 pp. (varies by publisher)
Here is Henry James classic masterpiece, Daisy Miller. Daisy is a youthful, exuberant American girl vacationing in Europe. She typifies the brashness of America—a brashness that clashes with the European society to which she finds herself drawn. This poignant tragedy plays out as these cultures collide. (From the Dover edition.)
Originally published in Cornhill Magazine in 1878 and in book form in 1879, Daisy Miller brought Henry James his first widespread commercial and critical success.
The young Daisy Miller, an American on holiday with her mother on the shores of Switzerland’s Lac Leman, is one of James’s most vivid and tragic characters. Daisy’s friendship with an American gentleman, Mr. Winterbourne, and her subsequent infatuation with a passionate but impoverished Italian bring to life the great Jamesian themes of Americans abroad, innocence versus experience, and the grip of fate.
As Elizabeth Hardwick writes in her Introduction, Daisy Miller “lives on, a figure out of literature who has entered history as a name, a vision.” (From the Modern Library edition.)
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