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Daisy Miller: A Study in Two Parts

Henry James

Book Overview: 

Daisy Miller is a novella by Henry James. It portrays the confused courtship of the eponymous American girl by Winterbourne, a compatriot of hers with much more sophistication. His pursuit of her is hampered by her own flirtatiousness, which is frowned upon by the other expatriates they meet in Switzerland and Italy. Her lack of understanding of the social mores of the society she so desperately wishes to enter ultimately leads to tragedy.

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Book Excerpt: 
. . .Winterbourne, conscious that he had been very bold, thought it possible she was offended. "With your mother," he answered very respectfully.

But it seemed that both his audacity and his respect were lost upon Miss Daisy Miller. "I guess my mother won't go, after all," she said. "She don't like to ride round in the afternoon. But did you really mean what you said just now—that you would like to go up there?"

"Most earnestly," Winterbourne declared.

"Then we may arrange it. If mother will stay with Randolph, I guess Eugenio will."

"Eugenio?" the young man inquired.

"Eugenio's our courier. He doesn't like to stay with Randolph; he's the most fastidious man I ever saw. But he's a splendid courier. I guess he'll stay at home with Randolph if mother does, and then we can go to the castle."

Winterbourne reflected for an instant as lucidly as possible—"we" could only mean Miss Daisy Miller and himself. . . Read More

Community Reviews

Daisy Miller is a short novel that seems to me like a condensed version of The Portrait of a Lady. Daisy is a young American girl traveling abroad in Europe with her mother and younger brother. Doing what any young American girl would consider normal, she is ridiculed and scorned for not adhering...more

Ovo je prva knjiga koju sam pročitala na engleskom, od korica do korica... :) U prvom razredu gimnazije... I to je u to vreme bilo neobično... A sada klinci još u osnovnoj školi čitaju knjige u originalu, što je dobro :) Henri Miler je bio i ostao jedan od mojih najdražih pisaca...more

Qui se passes ses fantaisies....

She does what she wishes. Daisy Miller, published in 1879 brought Henry Miller his first success. The short novela (72 pages) casts an eye of societal norms of the day.

Told through the eyes of a fellow American but raised in Geneva, Winterbourne is charmed by the...more


WINTRY DAISIES

I rarely discuss plot, and doing so in a book on which so much has been written, seems to me like jumping into a bottomless pit.

But I was sad, no; I ought to say that it irked me that Henry James had her Annie, ‘Daisy’, die at the end.

For I was becoming more and more interested in...more

Customs of different countries and people seem of little importance today to many, we are basically the same , underneath... all humans, yet language, religion, history or even weather and geographic features divides us , what is accepted in one place is not in another: Daisy Miller, (real name A...more

Henry James in a nutshell. This novel contains all typical and topical for him issues, to mention only freshness and spontaneity contra preciosity and social niceties, differences between young and puritan country and fossilized and sophisticated Old World, clash between America and Europe, innoc...more

To condemn values of victorian origin it is necessary to demonstrate that they cannot overcome some of their essential antagonisms. If a critique of questionable morals is the intention of this book, the second part is more vauge, since it lacks any struggle worth struggeling for. We get to meet...more

This little story catalyzed a lot of late 19th century debate about American values and European values and--particularly--the confident, un-blushing American girl who is not inclined to conform to the snobbish tastes and attitudes of the upper class people she meets as her family becomes wealthy...more

Henry James, much like other authors around the twentieth century, believes that society is all powerful, even to the extent that it obliterates any moral impulses that we have been born with. In Daisy Miller, the embodiment of a completely naive American girl is presented in the character of Dai...more

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