UNLIMITED Audiobooks and eBooks

Over 40,000 books & works on all major devices

Get ALL YOU CAN for FREE for 30 days!

Roderick Hudson

Henry James

Book Overview: 

Roderick Hudson is James's first important novel. The theme of Americans in Europe, so important in much of James's work, is already central to the story. Hudson is a young law student in Northampton, Massachusetts, who shows such surprising ability as a sculptor that the rich Rowland Mallett, visiting a cousin in Northampton, decides to stake him to several years of study in Rome, then a center of expatriate American society. The story has to do not only with Roderick's growth as an artist and the problems it brings, but also as a man susceptible to his new environment, and indeed his occasional rivalries with his American friend and patron.

How does All You Can Books work?

All You Can Books gives you UNLIMITED access to over 40,000 Audiobooks, eBooks, and Foreign Language courses. Download as many audiobooks, ebooks, language audio courses, and language e-workbooks as you want during the FREE trial and it's all yours to keep even if you cancel during the FREE trial. The service works on any major device including computers, smartphones, music players, e-readers, and tablets. You can try the service for FREE for 30 days then it's just $19.99 per month after that. So for the price everyone else charges for just 1 book, we offer you UNLIMITED audio books, e-books and language courses to download and enjoy as you please. No restrictions.

Book Excerpt: 
. . .lly a great many wiseheads who smiled at his precipitancy, and cited him as one more example of Yankee crudity, a capital recruit to the great army of those who wish to dance before they can walk. They were right, but Roderick was right too, for the success of his statue was not to have been foreseen; it partook, really, of the miraculous. He never surpassed it afterwards, and a good judge here and there has been known to pronounce it the finest piece of sculpture of our modern era. To Rowland it seemed to justify superbly his highest hopes of his friend, and he said to himself that if he had invested his happiness in fostering a genius, he ought now to be in possession of a boundless complacency. There was something especially confident and masterly in the artist's negligence of all such small picturesque accessories as might serve to label his figure to a vulgar apprehension. If it represented the father of the human race and the primal embodiment of human sensation, it. . . Read More

Community Reviews

Roderick Hudson, egotistical, beautiful, hot, and an exceptionally gifted sculptor,

but poor, is taken up by Rowland Mallet, a rich man of "fine appreciative sensibilities",

who is kind of totally in love with him and it's so kind of gay but cute, you know, and he gives him $$$ and takes him to It...more

Max Beerbohm on James : "To read Henry James is like taking a long walk uphill with almost of a mind to turn back, until, when you look back and down, the country is magically expanded beneath your gaze, as you never saw it."

This, his 2d novel (1875), explores the double image of Rowland and Rode...more

"That's very true," said Roderick, serenely. "If I had not come to Rome, I wouldn't have risen, and if I had not risen, I shouldn't have fallen."
For anyone who hasn't read James before this is a good place to start: he hasn't yet settled into his later, denser style of writing with its long, La...more

3.5

Serendipitously, my recent read of Hawthorne’s The Marble Faun seems to have been the perfect lead-in to this novel. I have no idea if the former inspired the latter, though I do know James was a reader of Hawthorne. (As I just checked something about James on Wikipedia, I, serendipitously, sa...more


Reading this first novel by James soon after reading one of Wharton's latest novels has been somewhat fortuitous, but I was amused that if in The Reef the two main female characters could be understood as two possible selves for Edith Wharton, opposed, opposing and complementary, so it is the cas...more

The Object of My Obsession

Certainly, among the young men of genius who, for so many ages, have gone up to Rome to test their powers, none ever made a fairer beginning than Roderick. He rode his two horses at once with extraordinary good fortune; he established the happiest modus vivendi betwixt w...more

I think I may have picked up Henry James from the wrong end. Apart from The Portrait of a Lady (1881), most of what I have read or attempted of James (The Wings of the Dove, The Golden Bowl, The Ambassadors) was written at the very end of his novel-writing career, in the first years of the twenti...more

Roderick Hudson is Henry James' first novel and as for the debut it’s exceptionally successful. It is said that this novel is more accessible and easier to follow than his later works but I wish other authors in their bloom to have skill comparable to early Henry James. The novel is not only a re...more

At a certain point I couldn’t help wondering if Henry James hadn’t used the two main characters in this novel to have a detailed and protracted argument with himself. Rowland might be seen as HJ in his social guise and Roderick a mischievous projection of his precocious genius. You could describe...more

View More Reviews