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An International Episode

Henry James

Book Overview: 

Two men visiting the US from London meet a pair of charming women who return the visit the following year in London. Romantic intrigues, miscommunication and cultural faux pas abound in this short but delightful novel.

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Book Excerpt: 
. . .My mother and sisters—" began the young nobleman with a certain energy. But he stopped in time, puffing at his cigar.

"Your mother spoke to me about it, with tears in her eyes," said Percy Beaumont. "She said she felt very nervous. I promised to keep you out of mischief."

"You had better take care of yourself," said the object of maternal and ducal solicitude.

"Ah," rejoined the young barrister, "I haven't the expectation of a hundred thousand a year, not to mention other attractions."

"Well," said Lord Lambeth, "don't cry out before you're hurt!"

It was certainly very much cooler at Newport, where our travelers found themselves assigned to a couple of diminutive bedrooms in a faraway angle of an immense hotel. They had gone ashore in the early summer twilight and had very promptly put themselves to bed; thanks to which circumstance and to their having, during the previous hours, in their commodious cabin, slep. . . Read More

Community Reviews

British twits and American twits yammer on to little consequence.

After reading this one gets a pretty good idea on the attitudes of some high society folk... Two English tourists meet two Americans ladies who decide to visit London the next year, of course romantic interests is the reason...more

This book is James' least 'veiled' attempt at analyzing the divide between Britain and the US. One always senses in his work a mixed loyalty to his home country and his adopted one making the reading of his novels more interesting than if he solely sat from one side of the Atlantic and threw voll...more

The climax was so anti-climactic that it was climactic. Certainly abrupt and decisive. Highlighted some of the differences between American and English society.

The title certainly over-heightened the nature of the story, as the episode is not of a high political nature. Nonetheless an interestin...more

Two different cultures and very different persons makes for a very interesting interactions and interpretations of events and actions. Sad that conventions and our society demand so much that is hypocritical of us. One day we will be able to just be who we are and be correctly known by others wit...more

Loved reading this novella about an eligible young English lord and an intelligent young Anglophile from Boston considered an unsuitable match by his mother, but the nuances didn't seem as exquisite nor the ending as breathtakingly ambiguous as in other works by James.

Working through Henry James's tales in chronological order, this one sticks in the craw. It is very much like chamber music, with two principal men (an elder and a younger), two principal women (an elder and a younger) and, at the climax, two intruding women (an elder and a younger). The players...more

This bit of fluff is a combination guidebook and cross-cultural comedy of manners in the manner of James most successful novel, Daisy Miller, or some of the novels of Diane Johnson like Le Mariage or Le Divorce, but not as good. The characters are all informatively stereotypical and you can learn...more

I enjoyed reading this story. I will write a detailed review later on.
The story rotates around 5 people;
Mrs. Westgate
Lord Lambeth
Pierce Beaumont
Mr. Westgate
The ladies, both live in the United States while the gentlemen live in England. They meet and realise that there

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