Dealing heavily with the then very timely political issue of feminism and the changing role of women in society, Henry James's The Bostonians is the story of Civil War veteran Basil Ransom's conflict with his cousin Olive Chancellor for the allegiance and affection of Boston feminist Verena Tarrant.
What a politicoliterary gathering that was. The drinks were loaded and so were the dolls. I narrowed my eyes and poured a stiff Manhattan and then I saw...Verena Tarrant. What a dame, a big, bountiful babe in the region of 38-23-36. One hell of a region. She was talking up some of that feminism thing like they do these days, and she ...more
The audible was narrated by a woman named Xe Sands - pronounced 'ex-y Sands'. she specializes in reading audible erotic romances -- so I guess 'Xe' is not chinese; probably her real name is Mildred o ...more
I found The Bostonians repulsive on so many levels. Where to even begin...
James is creating a world where it seems he wants you to find certain things repulsive, and you do, as a 21st century reader, although not necessarily quite as he hopes. The novel opens with Basil Ransom, a gallant Mississippian, paying a visit to his Boston cousin, the austere but still young spinster Olive Chancellor. Olive has invited Basil north in the hopes that he will become interested in her widowed sister, Mrs. Lu ...more
En mi humilde opinión es uno de los libros menores de un autor enorme, uno de mis favoritos. Precisamente lo que me gusta de Henry James es que debes desenredar la madeja según lees. En muchos casos debes sacar tus propias conclusiones. A pesar de esas maravillosas descripciones tan detalladas que tiene en común con la que fuera su amiga Edith Wharton, tanto de escenarios, situaciones, emociones o perfiles psicológicos, siempre hay una historia oculta entre lineas. James siempre dice mucho más d ...more
Miss Birdseye is the only vibrant character in the whole novel. The exchanges between her and Mr. Ransom are interesting and entertaining. There are exactly 4 such scenes.
Before starting the novel, I wa ...more
Quite entertaining. Consciously sexist though.
1. The Portrait of a Lady
2. The Golden Bowl
3. Washington Square
4. The Bostonians
5. The Ambassadors
My average rating for these five books is *2.4/5 stars.*
I should probably write a proper review for The Bostonians, but in all honesty, I just don't want to. It was a struggle for me just to finish the novel, & I hope that I will never be fo ...more
Interestingly, the background environment is the growing women's suffrage movement in America. The book was written long before women were granted the vote, but many of the arguments and the background were based on the assumption, by both sides, that women would make such a difference once they could vote. Other than perhaps the imposition of proh ...more
The reason why the Bostonians works is be ...more
Have been on a Henry James streak: The Bostonians, The Wings of the Dove, The Portrait of a Lady Am enjoying comparing characters across the novels, immersing self in the attitudes and manners of turn-of-the-twentieth century, and dueling with that mind of James. Here I was reminded that feminist leaders had been honed by abolition issues, that Southern sensibilities of its white plantation owners were still rooted in chivalry and efforts at adaptation to new sources of livel ...more
I have always wanted to read a Henry James novel because he is well respected and thought of in the literary world. The back jacket of The Bostonian intrigued me with its plot line of women’s suffrage and the fight for equal rights so I decided this would be the perfect Henry James novel for me.
Well, the first 100 pages were a chore, complete with the thought of giving the book up entirely! The main character did not enter the storyline for the first 30 pages or so and the text seemed to ramble ...more
James focuses in on the men and women of various political movements and his cutting descriptions ring true today. With abolition won, the political left is exhausted by success and turning to other battles, including women's rights. There are battle-weary true believers, hangers-on se ...more
The book has many interesting themes - it made for a good discussion in cla ...more
And all the while, Ransom is in love with her and her pretty little stupid self. Why would a person love another person they respect so little?
I couldn't wait for this to be over.
But there is another side of me which was really bothered that he makes quite a caricature of convictions. Why is it that believing in something can be such a bad thing? why is it that someone who is a feminist has to be a hard person with no sense of humor, why Olive Chancelor?
I loved it anywa ...more
And to be honest, I enjoyed the novel a lot more once I read a summary that told me that the novel was satire about the women's movement. It made what seemed slightly absurd actually quite funn ...more