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The Europeans

3.59 of 5 stars 3.59  ·  rating details  ·  2,379 ratings  ·  151 reviews
Eugenia, an expatriated American, is the morganatic wife of a German prince, who is about to reject her in favor of a state marriage. With her artist brother Felix Young she travels to Boston to visit relatives she has never before seen, in hopes of making a wealthy marriage. The men of Boston soon realize her deceitfulness, and she returns to Europe, feeling that her fort ...more
Paperback, 208 pages
Published August 17th 2000 by Oxford University Press, USA (first published 1878)
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3.5 stars; rounded up.
A brief novella, which is effectively a comedy of manners, in which, on the surface, little happens. It reminded me of Edith Wharton’s The Age of Innocence. The plot is simple; Felix Young and his sister Eugenia are the Europeans. Felix is a painter, who lives a bohemian lifestyle. He is incessantly (nauseatingly) cheerful. His sister Eugenia is in a morganatic marriage and her husband’s family want a divorce. They lead a wandering, essentially frivolous lifestyle. They dec
Gary Inbinder
This short novel is a delightful introduction to Henry James, especially so for readers who have avoided this author because they’ve heard he’s “difficult” or “obscure.” The story is set in mid-nineteenth century Boston and it incorporates what’s sometimes referred to as James’s “International Theme,” the dramatic conflict between American innocence and European experience.

Two expatriate Americans, Felix, a happy-go-lucky artist and his sister Eugenia, a baroness married to a minor German princ
Christopher H.
The Europeans is an absolutely delightful novel! Fun from the first page through the last. Also, it is really more of a novella and can easily be read in one or two sittings.

The Europeans is actually a 'flip', if you will, in the normal Jamesian plot-line. In other words, rather than the story of an American expatriate in Europe, this is the tale of two American expats who come back to visit family in New England. This is the story of Eugenia, the Baroness Munster, and her younger brother Felix
Jul 10, 2011 Wayne rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Americans of every variety
Recommended to Wayne by: The English Reading List of 1967 at Adelaide Uni.
Deceptively slight, this early James packs a punch full of complexity and resonating depths.It is sad to see so many students on this site dismissing it as an easy, and therefore a boring and unchallenging read.
God Help America!!!!

Adelaide University!!
Miss Sweetapple doing my first Henry James!!
They were both terrifying!!!
I LOVED Gertrude Wentworth, the most gutsy, rebellious and unsung of all James' heroines, as far as I'm concerned.

But what is happening??
The subtlety is suffocating...b
A charming bagatelle. Hardly a 'masterpiece of major quality,' as F.R. Leavis claims on the back of my edition (do other 1970s Penguins, say of Austen and George Eliot, bear pedagogic blurbs from 'The Great Tradition'?), but funny and well-executed. The American characters are a bit pallid and vague, perhaps intentionally, but the titular Europeans are brought off with great vividness: Felix Young is hilarious, particularly in his exchanges with Mr. Wentworth, and the Baroness Munster presents a ...more
I read this bad boy in no time over Holiday Break; it's light as a feather. Short little novella, a romance that takes place in the "Arcadian setting of the New England countryside in mid-nineteenth century America."

Felix Young and his sister the Baroness Munster come from Europe to visit their American cousins. The deal is that the Baroness' "morganatic" marriage to some German nobleman is about to be annulled because his family has decided he needs to hitch up with royalty. So she is here see
Michaela Wood
Clever little book by James. I am more interested since I read the essay by Richard Poirier at the end, and learned that this was one of James' earlier books although published later, and that the influence of James' feelings about Hawthornes' writing is throughout. I have never cared much for Hawthorne myself, but learning of James' specific criticisms, I found myself bristling under a supposed slight on the culture of the states as compared to Europe (I make fun of the states, not you H. James ...more
May 26, 2014 Teo rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: ljubiteljima Henri Džejmsa i viktorijanskog romana
Recommended to Teo by: pronašao kod uličnog prodavca
Roman Evropejci izašao je 1878. i pripada ranoj fazi proznog stvaralaštva Henrija Džejmsa. Fabula i pripovedni postupci podsećaju na prethodnu generaciju britanskih i američkih pripovedača kao što su Dž. Ostin, Trolop, Tekeri i Hotorn, tako da u romanu nećemo naći onu vrstu inovatovnosti koju će Džejms razviti u svojim kasnijim ostvarenjima.

Osnovni sukob u romanu je tipičan za mnogobrojne narative H. Džejmsa i on se sastoji u sukobu između slobodnijih i nestalnijih vrednosti Evrope i puritanskih
Os Europeus era o último dos três livros que tinha deste autor cá por casa; Daisy Miller e Washington Square não se revelaram leituras memoráveis e para ser muito sincera não esperava que este fosse, mas ainda assim decidi lê-lo e perceber se à terceira era de vez que decidia que este autor clássico não era propriamente a minha praia.

Não acontece muita coisa em Os Europeus. Ao contrário do que sucede em Daisy Miller, aqui a “ação” decorre na América com a visita de dois irmãos europeus: a barone
For a short book, this one moves slowly, however, it does hail from the 19th century, when people spent more time concentrating on the written text.

James captures beautifully the New England landscape, from the bleak spring rains of the Boston Public Gardens to the bright blue skies over fields in the countryside. It's been a long time since I have read a book that takes so much time to establish the ambience, from what a room looks like to how the weather impacts a character's mood.

The story i
A brother and sister (the sister being a married but alienated Baroness) travel to America to seek their fortunes among their distant relations in Massachusetts. As with other of James' novels, this is a brilliant charater study (all of James' characters are strongly painted) which also pits (rather puts at odds) the diverse culture differences between the provincial European and upstart America societies. Social status and standing predominate. James is his usual brilliant self in word choice/c ...more
This was a Henry James ‘light’: more a gentle comedy of manners than an in-depth exploration of characters’ lives. Unlike many of his novels, in which Americans find themselves in Europe and feel somehow nationally estranged, this one has a pair of American expatriates visiting their cousins in New England. The ‘Europeans’ find their American cousins kind but joyless and somber. The picture would no doubt be the reverse today, but the comparisons between the old and the new worlds are relatively ...more
Christopher Sutch
James's fourth novel is a very short romantic tale resembling a reversal of the usual plot in which country cousins come to the city to meet their more urbane kin. In this case, the European cousins come to America to meet their less-sophisticated family members, and James does a very nice job of portraying late 19th-century culture shock in the relations between Europeans and Americans. While the plot mainly focuses on fairly predictable romantic liaisons, I read the work as being centrally con ...more
Paul The Uncommon Reader
Henry James – light

Before tackling the heavier James stuff (“The Portrait of a Lady”, “The Ambassadors” and “The Golden Bowl” are on the list), I wanted to start with something lighter and was not – in that regard, at least – disappointed by this compact observation of late 19th Century Euro-American social comparisons and differences.

As a European myself, with some American friends and experience, it was fascinating to see how attitudes have shifted, mainly, I think, due to the shift of power a

The Europeans was James’s fourth novel which I enjoyed reading a good deal. It is easy going, short and fun to read without being over simplistic.

Felix and Eugenia are siblings from Europe who arrive in America to visit their relatives in the form of the New Englander Wentworth family. The Wentworth’s behave very graciously and welcome their foreign kin to live with them in one of the cottages on their property. What ensues is part romance, part comedy as the differences between the two cultures
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"The Europeans" resembles, to a T, all of James' other novels. It's extremely well-written, in the near-perfect English that writers can no longer use, at the risk of sounding ridiculously old-fashioned or overly-obsessed with the language.

The story of a European brother and sister who come to visit their Bostonian cousins at the end of the 19th century, the book quickly picks up a love story. The romance, however, does not dominate the book. James constantly compares the American Puritans to t
So far so good! I enjoyed Portrait of a Lady immensely, so I thought I'd give another of James' books a try. It has the same lengthy narrative style which, fortunately, I enjoy, and it has some highly developed characters whose fates I'm very curious about.

Okay - Now I've finished reading! I am, once again, amazed by Henry James. He's not so big on gripping plots, but he IS big on gripping characters and the workings of their minds. I found this book a little heavy at times, as I was weighed do
Perhaps it's that my first experience reading James was The Turn of the Screw, but this novel struck me as surprisingly light--almost insipidly so. In this book, the titular Europeans, Eugenia Munster, morganatic spouse to a German baron, and her lighthearted, bohemian brother, Felix, visit their distant American cousins, the Wentworths, with whom, to Felix's utter delight and Eugenia's growing distaste, they have nothing in common. Comic misunderstandings and romantic entanglements abound; howe ...more
A delightful novella that can counter repulsion some might feel about Henry James's works. Here's a fusion of E. M. Forster and Jane Austen. A nuanced yet non-judgemental comparison between the Europeans sister/brother visitors to their American cousins residing in the outskirt of Boston. Humorous and light-hearted descriptions, at times clever and even LOL commentaries uttered by its characters. And what do you know, these are very decent characters, some Puritans, some liberals, a Bohemian, an ...more
Every time I read a Henry James novel I encounter passages that just smack me upside the head with their beauty, even (especially!) if that beauty is melancholy.

“It's odd to hear you telling me how to be happy. I don't think you know yourself, dear uncle. Now does that sound brutal?'

The old man was silent a moment, and then, with a dry dignity that suddenly touched his nephew, 'We may sometimes point out a road we are unable to follow.”

The nephew wasn't the only one touched by this passage. An
Michael Neno
The Europeans is the most entertaining James novel I've read so far in my quest of reading all his novels in chronological order. It's a sort-of reversal of The American; instead of a financially successful American attempting to marry into European aristocracy, The Europeans concerns mid-19th century visitors from across the pond staying with and somewhat preying upon, plain-living New Englanders of various types, with marriage as the ultimate goal.

The Europeans are a broke and devil-may-care b
Some works survive the stride of time and not only outlive their time but continue to shine across all ages. Shakespeare, Dante for example come to mind.

Some works, like the works of Henry James, I'm sure were very popular at the time but unfortunately do not age very well, unless, that is, you are a huge fan of 19th century society and culture in all its prude priggishness.

This is the second book by Henry James that I have read, the first being Washington Square. Although this is con
3.5 stars
The last time I read a Henry James novel was over a dozen years ago and although I remember enjoying the few I did read, I also seem to remember they were hard going –lots of concentration required to get through some of his ten line sentences. ‘The Europeans’ therefore, was actually a pleasant surprise; relatively easy to read and accessible with still his wonderful use of language. Of course, it is a very slight book where very little happens but then James’ novels are not characteri
Michael Belcher
Although there was never an instance where I desired to be rid of this band of performative "Europeans" and Puritanical Americans, this is a book for which the joys of pondering it nearly outweigh the joys of actually reading it. James' evocative writing in the opening chapter (his description of the snowy view from Boston's Tremont Hotel is equal parts exquisite and morbidly amusing) never quite meets its match in the rest of the book, which can be, at times, as prone to colourlessness as James ...more
Reads like a Shakespeare comedy. Short and sweet.
FIRST LINE REVIEW: "A narrow grave-yard in the heart of a bustling, indifferent city, seen from the windows of a gloomy-looking inn, is at no time an object of enlivening suggestion; and the spectacle is not at its best when the mouldy tombstones and funereal umbrage have received the ineffectual refreshment of a dull, moist snow-fall." Classic early Henry James, right there! Fortunately, for us and for the two protagonists of THE EUROPEANS, the gloomy setting described at the start of the book ...more
It starts off a bit actually made me put it aside for a few weeks...but then it picks up. I quite liked it. People are saying it's too short but I think for the amount of plot it's about right. Worth reading if you're a fan of the author or even a Jane Austen fan.
A book that was about one thing that was interesting only to a point. Beyond that, the book became only repetitive, boring and such that I had to force myself to continue. I just can't find this kind of novel interesting anymore, not if its only depth comes from the way the book handles manners and the relationships between the characters. Which, by the way, offered little interest in this one, as there was nothing else to mirror them with.

If the book was supposed to highlight the differences be
There's a public domain audiobook version available here from LibriVox. It is ready by Lee Ann Howlett, one of my favorite Librivox readers!
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Henry James, OM, son of theologian Henry James Sr., brother of the philosopher and psychologist William James and diarist Alice James, was an American-born author, one of the founders and leaders of a school of realism in fiction. He spent much of his life in England and became a British subject shortly before his death. He is primarily known for a series of major novels in which he portrayed the ...more
More about Henry James...
The Portrait of a Lady The Turn of the Screw Daisy Miller The Wings of the Dove Washington Square

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