Travelling in Italy with Henry James by Fred Kaplan (ed) - review by Frank McLynn

Frank McLynn

Worth Investigation

Travelling in Italy with Henry James


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Edith Wharton tells a story about Henry James, who once managed to get lost on the Kings Road, Chelsea. In desperation he accosted a local and proceeded to treat him to the usual orotundity and prolixity of the Jamesian period, replete with many an ‘in short’ – the inevitable prelude with James to a fresh series of circumlocutions and periphrases. Having eventually fathomed that James was enquiring where the Kings Road was, the local pulled him up short with a curt: ‘Ye’re in it.’

With this sort of track record, James was clearly no pathfinding Stanley or ground-breaking Younghusband. Yet when he could rely on others to see to the details of his travel arrangements, he was an enthusiastic rover of the art trails of Europe. Fred Kaplan, who is beginning to establish himself

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