The Oxford Paragraphs:
Henry James
Daisy Miller
and An International Episode

Books Having recently enjoyed Peter Bogdanovich’s adaptation with Cybill Shepherd’s peerless central performance, it’s surprising to find the judgemental mood with which Henry James characterises Daisy Miller in his original story, albeit through the eyes of a potential suitor (though his preface extract agrees). Yet despite the implications of his original sub-heading “a study”, I think he knows that she’s an extraordinary creation, strong and independent minded at pushing against the expectations of her times. An International Episode builds on those themes, sending two British blokes into the social environment of New Port, which is looser than they’re used to then brings the two sisters that they meet back to London to be greeted by our social strictures. The conclusion is subtle and took me a second reading to understand why a match isn’t made for reasons which haven’t much changed. The cultural clashes in both these stories still, sadly, occur.

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