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The Outcry

Henry James

Book Overview: 

The story concerns the contemplated sale of a famous painting by a proud but relatively cash-strapped British aristocrat to a wealthy American art collector who is bent on buying up treasured masterpieces from the Old World, and the patriotic outcry after the public gets wind of his intent. The matter is further complicated by the strong resistance put up by his younger daughter and her blunt-spoken, art critic friend against the sale.

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Book Excerpt: 
. . .sitor with a kindness strained clear of urgency. "Will you also come?"

He confessed to a difficulty—which his whole face begged her also to take account of. "I hoped you'd be at leisure—for something I've so at heart!"

This had its effect; she took a rapid decision and turned persuasively to Crimble—for whom, in like manner, there must have been something in her face. "Let Mr. Bender himself then show you. And there are things in the library too."

"Oh yes, there are things in the library." Lord John, happy in his gained advantage and addressing Hugh from the strong ground of an initiation already complete, quite sped him on the way.

Hugh clearly made no attempt to veil the penetration with which he was moved to look from one of these counsellors to the other, though with a ready "Thank-you!" for Lady Grace he the next instant started in pursuit of Mr. Bender.


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Community Reviews

I committed myself to The Outcry, James' last published work, with reluctance. Fully aware of the laborious, convoluted style of late James, I foresaw myself groping my way through this comedy of manners - and grope I did, though it wasn't an entirely unrewarding experience. While the prose was thor

The rare Henry James novel that you could reasonably get through in one sitting, if you were so inclined. The Outcry is a comedy of manners set in the art world of turn of the century England: a wealthy American on the hunt to acquire Britain's finest artistic treasures becomes enamored of a particu


The Outcry disappointed me, this is Henry James's weakest work. Chapter VII is probably the most accomplished chapter. I didn't particularly enjoy earlier chapters as they felt disjointed. My advice to all readers is to read the introduction carefully before starting to read The Outcry.

Risulta evidente da subito che il romanzo e' frutto di un riadattamento da quella che era pensata per essere un'opera teatrale .. i dialoghi sono il 90 % della narrazione
, scritti in pieno stile vittoriano , Il tutto , poco contornato da intermezzi , descrizioni e avvenimenti , risulta fin troppo st

"William James made the request to brother Henry: write a new book with no twilight or mustiness in the plot, with great vigor and decisiveness in the action, no fencing in the dialogue, no psychological commentaries, and absolute straightness in the style. He did just that with The Outcry – well, b

Written originally as a play, James continued to keep many of the stage directions in the text which made it difficult to follow. The various characters appear and leave his scenes much as they would have on the stage. It's astonishing to me that the book sold well as I found getting through it labo

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