Henry James left London in 1897 to spend the last two decades of his life in East Sussex where his neighbours included H. G. Wells, Stephen Crane, Ford Madox Ford, Joseph Conrad. In this widely admired study Miranda Seymour aims to cut through 'the mass of evasions ...and misrepresentations' about their relationships with James. She finds that James was cruelly patronizing to protege Wells and to Conrad; that he was annoyed by Ford, an incorrigible romancer; that he envied his rich friend Edith Wharton for her wide readership; that he snubbed Cora Taylor, Crane's lover, after she fled America when her railway-conductor husband was found guilty of murder. Seymour, a descendant of James's close friend, the novelist Howard Sturgis, records how James's critiques of fellow writers often amounted to annihilation and she chronicles his infatuations with handsome young men, including sculptor Hendrik Andersen and poet Rupert Brooke. In this erudite and insightful book that draws on letters and published works, Miranda Seymour vividly recreates the uneasy alliance of writers and personalities in this 'Rye Mafia'.About the Author:
Miranda Seymour is the acclaimed author of the innovative and widely admired A RING OF CONSPIRATORS, a study of Henry James and his circle, and OTTOLINE MORRELL: LIFE ON THE GRAND SCALE, twelve times selected for Book of the Year. She also writes novels and children's books.
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