The Wings of the Dove

By Henry James
Read by Wanda McCaddon

18.90 Hours 04/01/1999 unabridged
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Henry James’ classic morality tale tells of a triangle of friends and lovers doomed to treachery by overreaching desire. In early-twentieth-century London, Kate Croy is secretly engaged to Merton Denscher, a journalist possessed of all the qualities of an ideal husband except for money. By chance, Kate befriends American heiress Milly Theale, who is suffering from a mysterious and fatal illness. Kate, who truly cares for Milly, devises a scheme to maximize their combined assets: she encourages Merton to take an interest in Milly, to seduce her, and finally, to marry her. By lending her lover to brighten Milly’s few remaining days, Kate intends to make him a rich widower whom she herself can marry. But such well laid plans are not enough for the subtlety of the heart. This is a brilliant and sophisticated satire of manners and morals in the best Jamesian tradition.

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Summary

Summary

One of Modern Library's 100 Best English-Language Novels of the Twentieth Century

Henry James’ classic morality tale tells of a triangle of friends and lovers doomed to treachery by overreaching desire. In early-twentieth-century London, Kate Croy is secretly engaged to Merton Denscher, a journalist possessed of all the qualities of an ideal husband except for money. By chance, Kate befriends American heiress Milly Theale, who is suffering from a mysterious and fatal illness. Kate, who truly cares for Milly, devises a scheme to maximize their combined assets: she encourages Merton to take an interest in Milly, to seduce her, and finally, to marry her. By lending her lover to brighten Milly’s few remaining days, Kate intends to make him a rich widower whom she herself can marry. But such well laid plans are not enough for the subtlety of the heart.

This is a brilliant and sophisticated satire of manners and morals in the best Jamesian tradition.

Editorial Reviews

Editorial Reviews

“He is as solitary in the history of the novel as Shakespeare in the history of poetry.” Graham Greene
“The Wings of the Dove represents the pinnacle of James’ prose.” Louis Auchincloss, lawyer, novelist, historian, and essayist
“The crown of Henry James’ achievement.” John Bayley
“It may be James’ most ambitious novel...The Wings of the Dove creates its high drama of consciousness from material that is originially and ultimately of the simplest and starkest.” Peter Brooks

Reviews

Reviews

Author

Author Bio: Henry James

Henry James (1843–1916), American novelist, short-story writer, and man of letters, was born in Washington Place, New York, to a family of distinguished philosophers and theologians. He attended schools in New York, Boston, and throughout Europe, where he later settled. A major figure in the history of the novel, he is celebrated as a master craftsman who brought his great art and impeccable technique to bear in the development of abiding moral themes.

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Details

Details

Available Formats : Digital Download, Digital Rental, CD, MP3 CD
Category: Fiction/Classics
Runtime: 18.90
Audience: Adult
Language: English