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Henry James and the psychological novel – “The portrait of a Lady”


Henry James is an English writer of the 19th century, who is considered the forerunner of the psychological novel because of his thematic and stylistic literary innovations, that make him an actual writer that can be appreciated nowdays.
Henry James's narrative is immersed in European culture and is characterized by innovative psychological analyzes: in fact, the facts that are narrated are not so extraterrestrial as those of inner consciousness; moreover James's great stylistic novelty is that sometimes the first ones are even subordinate to the second ones.
Henry James books underline protagonists consciousness, analyzing their feelings, relationships, torments, interior struggles, interior development and many other things.
For his peculiar psychological analyzes, Henry James's style was considered rather difficult, although he was appreciated by critics, in fact the writer was not very famous during his life.
Henry James’s most important book is “The Portrait of a Lady”, that reflects all of the characteristics of the psychological novel, a great literary innovation for that time.
The book is a coming of age novel (also known as bildung-roman) that examines the life of a young lady Isabel and her psychological development.
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