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What Maisie Knew

Henry James

Book Overview: 

When Beale and Ida Farange are divorced, the court decrees that their only child, the very young Maisie, will shuttle back and forth between them, spending six months of the year with each. The parents are immoral and frivolous, and they use Maisie to intensify their hatred of each other.

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Book Excerpt: 
. . .This was a course their delicacy shrank from; they couldn't have told exactly why, but it was a part of their tenderness for him not to let him think they had trouble. What dazzled most was his kindness to Mrs. Wix, not only the five-pound note and the "not forgetting" her, but the perfect consideration, as she called it with an air to which her sounding of the words gave the only grandeur Maisie was to have seen her wear save on a certain occasion hereafter to be described, an occasion when the poor lady was grander than all of them put together. He shook hands with her, he recognised her, as she said, and above all, more than once, he took her, with his stepdaughter, to the pantomime and, in the crowd, coming out, publicly gave her his arm. When he met them in sunny Piccadilly he made merry and turned and walked with them, heroically suppressing his consciousness of the stamp of his company, a heroism that—needless for Mrs. Wix to sound those words—her lad. . . Read More

Community Reviews

Well, I told myself to review more of my 5 star books instead of taking the easy way out projectile sneering at some grisly two star efforts. but it's hard. There are some brilliant Henry James reviews dotted around, and this won't be one of those. I think there's a point in some of these long, long

Maisie tudja, hogy ha egy pszichologizáló hajlamú író kezébe kerül, akkor az nem lesz tekintettel éveinek csekély számára: kifilézi irgalom nélkül. Úgyhogy a kislány egy véresen megharcolt válás középpontjában találja magát, ahol a két szülő - Henry James kedves metaforájával - úgy ütögeti át egymás

Δύσκολα αφήνεις το συγκεκριμένο βιβλίο από τα χέρια σου. Νιώθεις ότι αν το κάνεις θα προδώσεις και εσύ την μικρή Μέιζι όπως οι γονείς της.

“She still had room for wonder at what Maisie knew.” There are others, but they are rare: novels in which the last sentence is the most important one, not in the sense of the denouement of an exciting story (because it does not do that at all in this story), but in the sense that it offers the key t

Years ago, I read somewhere, perhaps in Graves' Goodbye to All of That, or a biography on Ford Madox Ford, where it was recorded (a tricky word if it's Graves) that Ford, while out in the trenches, read and greatly admired Henry James' What Maisie Knew. What stuck in my mind was the fact that Ford (

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