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The Europeans

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3.57 of 5 stars 3.57  ·  rating details  ·  2,094 ratings  ·  137 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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Paul
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
...more
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
...more
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
...more
Wayne
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!!!!

1967!!
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
...more
Eric
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
Alfred
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
...more
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
Teo
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
...more
Kate
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
...more
Craig
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
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

...more
Chris
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
...more
Patrick
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Victoria
"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
...more
Andrea
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
...more
Arti
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
Kyle
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
...more
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
...more
Mat
Hmmmmm.....
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
...more
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
Ivan
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
alibrivoxfan
There's a public domain audiobook version available here from LibriVox. It is ready by Lee Ann Howlett, one of my favorite Librivox readers!
Antonia
I've read it twice and enjoyed it both times. It's one of James' lightest and easiest books to read. I recommend starting with this one if you're new to his work, or at least before tackling his later novels.
Zhara
Short, charming story. Henry James satisfies again.
Phil
This was a 3.5 and I erred on 3 rather than 4 because although I liked it, I didn't feel as gripped as I felt I would like to have been. Henry James is a writer I toy with now and then, like Thomas Mann, I know that I don't enjoy late James (where his prose, for me, is engulfed in a gloopy syrup of over-erudition) but I often enjoy early and mid-James. This one is deceptively slight. It's written in episodes, chapters that don't flow one to another, but fade in like a movie and the characters ar ...more
Peter
After reading so much late James (The Golden Bowl, The Wings of the Dove, What Maisie Knew) this felt like Henry James-lite, which is a nice break. I felt like this novel was easily the most humorous (excepting Mr. and Mrs. Assingham exchanges in The Golden Bowl) work that I've read so far. Felix and Gertrude are thoroughly entertaining characters. ("I was the cock of the walk," who says that?!) The plot almost felt Shakespearian/Austinian (go with it) in its ending, and yet it retained the sign ...more
Yudhit
I think I should read this book once more, when I have time to sit by my dictionary and browse through all difficult words. When I first read the book, the story and the writer style completely caught me in that I skipped my curiosity upon strange words I've encountered.

I loooooove how the languages used so beautifully.... I love the characters, the intrigue, the plots. however, I never once though that he would dim the heroin character in the end and summoned unexpected hero, with everyone live
...more
Joy H.
Apr 18, 2010 Joy H. marked it as watched-film-only  ·  review of another edition
April 2010 -I watched the Merchant-Ivory film on DVD from Netflix.

Critic, Roger Ebert said: "James Ivory's new film "The Europeans" is based on one of James' earlier and less complex novels..."
See Ebert's complete film review at:
http://rogerebert.suntimes.com/apps/p...

Another online reviewer wrote:
"Adapted by Ruth Prawer Jhabvala, the film’s script is entirely faithful to Henry James’ novel, practically line for line – and correctly so. The film flows gracefully with a lightness of touch, perfec
...more
La Stamberga dei Lettori
Il tema dei rapporti difficili e delle incomprensioni tra le due sponde dell'Atlantico, tra il vecchio e il nuovo mondo è descritto molto bene in questo piccolo romanzo dell'autore dei "Bostoniani" e di "Il giro di vite", un tipico esponente, Henry James, dell'alta borghesia del New England, l'aristocrazia americana, che ha passato buona parte della sua vita nella vecchia Europa.
Le dinamiche sociologiche e psicologiche che coinvolgono un fratello e una sorella, la baronessa Munster e l'artista
...more
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Goodreads Librari...: eBooks - issues with eBooks read directly on Goodreads 5 45 Jun 14, 2012 03:10PM  
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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
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The Portrait of a Lady The Turn of the Screw Daisy Miller The Wings of the Dove Washington Square

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