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Roderick Hudson

3.66  ·  Rating details ·  620 Ratings  ·  63 Reviews
Cuando el acaudalado Rowland Mallet contempla por primera vez una escultura de Roderick Hudson, se queda estupefacto y considera que es obra de un genio, a la vez que se extasía con la belleza, el espíritu y el carisma del propio escultor. Así, con el deseo de conceder al empobrecido artista la oportunidad de desarrollar su talento, se lleva a Roderick a Roma, donde pronto ...more
Paperback, 503 pages
Published April 15th 2009 by Verticales de bolsillo (first published 1875)
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Violet wells
At a certain point I couldn’t help wondering if Henry James hadn’t used the two main characters in this novel to have a detailed and protracted argument with himself. Rowland might be seen as HJ in his social guise and Roderick a mischievous projection of his precocious genius. You could describe both characters as half baked. Roderick, somewhat of a romantic cliché, has the talent but no money; Rowland has the money but no talent. An alliance is formed. Rowland offers to become the young provin ...more
The main character of this book is not called Roderick.
No, the main character is called Rowland, and he is introduced to the reader in the very first line of the book.
When I read that first line, I immediately thought of the eight century knight of Charlemagne's court who is the hero of the epic poem, 'Le Chanson de Roland'.
However, since the early chapters of this book are set in Northampton, Massachusetts in the late nineteenth century, I quickly forgot that thought.

When I reached page 188
Jul 08, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

Roderick Hudson is Henry James' first novel and as for the debut it’s exceptionally successful. It is said that this novel is more accessible and easier to follow than his later works but I wish other authors in their bloom to have skill comparable to early Henry James. The novel is not only a record of culture and personalities clash, picture of the innocents abroad, puritan Americans in juxtaposition with corrupted Europeans- motives being his showpiece and hallmark, but also a history of conf
Paul Bryant
Sep 27, 2007 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: novels

Roderick Hudson, egotistical, beautiful, hot, and an exceptionally gifted sculptor,

but poor, is taken up by Rowland Mallet, a rich man of "fine appreciative sensibilities",

who is kind of totally in love with him and it's so kind of gay but cute, you know, and he gives him $$$ and takes him to Italy.

Like you do!!!!!

He wants Rod to develop his talent - I think we all know what THAT means.

Together Rowland & Rod they seem like twins or lovers, opposing halves of what should have been an ideal w
Mar 14, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Max Beerbohm on James : "To read Henry James is like taking a long walk uphill with almost of a mind to turn back, until, when you look back and down, the country is magically expanded beneath your gaze, as you never saw it."

This, his 2d novel (1875), explores the double image of Rowland and Roderick - the first a rich connoisseur of art and whatnots (New England-based) who discovers a possibly talented artist, a beautiful, sensuous youth that he must mentor at all cost. R1 takes R2 to Europe --
May 17, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Laura by: Bettie
Free download available at Project Gutenberg.

From BBc Radio 4:
Love Henry James: Roderick Hudson
adapted by Lavinia Murray
Rowland Mallet - a wealthy Bostonian bachelor becomes patron to a young sculptor, Roderick Hudson, and takes him from the US to Rome to study and develop his art. Their conflicting and complex relationship is heightened in the 'old world' as Rowland falls in love with Mary Garland, Roderick's fiance, and Roderick becomes involved in a destructive relationship with the beautifu
Apr 09, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: reviewed, 1800-1900
I think I may have picked up Henry James from the wrong end. Apart from The Portrait of a Lady (1881), most of what I have read or attempted of James (The Wings of the Dove, The Golden Bowl, The Ambassadors) was written at the very end of his novel-writing career, in the first years of the twentieth century. Although I know these works have often been considered James’s finest, they have always left me rather cold, partly because of an aversion to his self-consciously hyperrefined (or hyperconvo ...more
Captain Sir Roddy, R.N. (Ret.)
While Roderick Hudson was Henry James's second published novel (Watch and Ward being the first and serialized in The Atlantic Monthly in 1871), he always considered Roderick Hudson his "first novel". James also freely admitted that Roderick Hudson was his take on Nathaniel Hawthorne's The Marble Faun (1860).

I went into this book with my eyes wide open and ended up loving it. This is early James and is completely accessible to any and all readers. It is, in my humble opinion, a bit of a Byronic-
I thought it fitting that James commenced his 1909 preface to this novel, his first, with a disquisition on the difficulty of representation—the difficulty of establishing a selective system of observation that will enable an author “to give the image and the sense of certain things while keeping them subordinate to his plan, keeping them in relation to matters more immediate and apparent, to give all the sense, in a word, without all the substance or all the surface, and so to summarise and for ...more
Justin Evans
Jul 02, 2010 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction

Very indirect plot spoilers here.

This is not-quite-James. It's slow to get started - not slow the way his other novels are slow, but sloooooooooow - with long descriptions of peoples' appearances that are neither interesting nor insightful etc etc... Chapter III through the first half of XI is great, but someone has seemingly replaced a Jamesian ending with one straight out of a gothic horror novel. The final few chapters are somehow both completely superfluous (page after page of 'the alps sto
Laurel Hicks
If you have had trouble navigating the winding sentences of Henry James, try this, his first novel. It's normal! An excellent character study of the most rational of men and the most passionate, and the three women who loved one of them.
Aug 05, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
A rich man recognizes the talent in a small-town sculptor and takes him to Rome to study his art. But will the sculptor benefit from this trip? The story bogged down towards the end, and nothing new was really explored in this novel. I was exasperated, in different ways, by each of the characters in the story. OK, but not great.
Jul 14, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: italy
I think this was Henry James' first novel and is definitely a lot easier to read than his later work. A young artist trying to find his way in Italy.
May 24, 2009 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Cathy by: professor
I read this book years ago for a college class. At the time, I was very depressed. This is not a good book to read if you are depressed. That was the genesis of my old review (at the end). I have different feelings about this book now.

This book was neither as good nor as bad as I recall. As usual, James does a spectacular job of painting the settings. He peoples his world with different types of characters, namely Americans and Europeans, artists and non-artists.

I don't recall what was so depre
Jul 05, 2007 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: James fans
One of James's first novels, this isn't as carefully nuanced as some of his best, but it's got all the usual furniture -- stifling social mores, Americans corrupted by Europe, elaborate hierarchies and elaborate prose. It's interesting to compare this to the Ambassadors, one of James' last novels. In situation and theme and circumstance, there's a lot of similarity there. But Roderick Hudson -- sometimes to its credit -- is not nearly so indirect and subtle as the Ambassadors, and sometimes peop ...more
Oct 19, 2008 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Underneath all those words, it's just a Harlequin Romance plot. But, oh, those words.
According to the introduction, I was meant to like Roderick Hudson, and not be able to stand Rowland Mallet. What a load of rubbish; Mallet's a hero. Well, he's me, at least.
Christopher Sutch
Mar 19, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
When you read more than one book at a time, as I compulsively do, you are often treated to surprising examples of serendipity. That is the case with this novel, which I happened to read while also reading Edith Wharton's _The Gods Arrive_. Both of these novels feature major characters who are declared (by the authors and by other characters in the respective works) artistic "geniuses" (though there is more evidence for this in James's novel than in Wharton's), and both or insufferable egotists w ...more
Jim Leckband
Sep 11, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Who knew Henry James was a postmodernist?

Buried beneath his ornate mountains of subtle prose lies an Austerian pomo fond of authorian doubles. Roderick Hudson and Rowland Mallet are woven together by a intricate skein of yarn, like when Rowland innocently holds the yarn at the first meeting with Mary Garland ("Garland" has many meanings here - victory, wholesomeness, innocence etc.) that sets the novel in action.

The name of the book is "Roderick Hudson", but this book is about Rowland Mallet. Ro
Jun 10, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
the first book that i have read entirely on iphone! i feel like hj feels guilty about a lot of things in this book. he feels guilty about having money and buying things and being a loafer even though he writes so much. he feels guilty and embarrassed about trying to be a romantic Artist because it makes you hurt everyone who loves you and kill yourself. he feels guilty about ladies because probably you should do SOMEthing for them since their lives are terrible and they are not able to make thei ...more
Marcus Speh
Mar 10, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I recently finished "Roderick Hudson" by Henry James--the central character from whose perspective the novel is told, Rowland Mallet, is a weak, shy character, in stark contrast to the hero of the title, the brilliant but self-destructive sculptor-genius Roderick Hudson. Oddly enough, and interestingly, it is the boringness and suppressed emotionality of Rowland which makes this book work. Perhaps because it highlights the difference to Roderick's creative Tsunami. When the Roderick's storm, par ...more
Mar 10, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: classics
Rowland Mallett, a wealthy young American, meets the handsome sculptor Roderick Hudson, and whisks him off to Europe, where he expects his protégée to flourish under the influence of the Italian masters, which is indeed what he does, until the undermining appearance of beautiful but troublesome Christina Light turns the head of the young artist, who was engaged just prior to his departure for the continent, to the plain but interesting Mary Garland, to whom Rowland has also taken a shine, but re ...more
Feb 08, 2017 marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
Mentioned by Fr. Patrick Henry Reardon
Jan 06, 2010 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: literature
I wish I had read Roderick Hudson when I was sixteen. The titillating references to homosexuality and the embroidered Victorian language might have impressed me more back then.

Now I find this early Henry James novel merely jejeune. Goethe did it better.
May 17, 2014 marked it as wish-list  ·  review of another edition
to hunt down/look into further
Ronald Wendling
Jun 05, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Roderick Hudson is the engaging first novel of Henry James. The title character is a sculptor born in New England who temporarily finds his skill and inspiration in Rome, but who then deteriorates into a life of lounging, unproductive dissipation. Roderick lacks a moral base, at least in the eyes of the other major character, Rowland Mallet, who believes in Roderick’s genius enough to finance his aesthetic education in Europe but ends up paying mostly for his decline. Rowland is a generous and ...more
Feb 18, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This first novel by Henry James has some obvious flaws (especially the heavy-handed coincidences that manage to bring characters together at just the right moment), but for me those were mitigated by a surprisingly snappy way with dialogue. It's a melodrama, and you see many things coming, but James keeps you engaged with beautiful, occasionally too florid, writing. The characters would be stock were it not for the galvanizing presence of Christina Light. Her presence is often surprising, her ho ...more
Would have been 5 stars but the ending is kind of crap.
Jun 13, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Bright and pretty.
Jan 20, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
First sentence: Rowland Mallet had made his arrangements to sail for Europe on the first of September, and having in the interval a fortnight to spare, he determined to spend it with his cousin Cecilia, the widow of a nephew of his father. He was urged by the reflection that an affectionate farewell might help to exonerate him from the charge of neglect frequently preferred by this lady.

Premise/plot: Rowland Mallet is introduced to Roderick Hudson by his cousin Cecelia. Hudson is a sculptor from
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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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“True happiness, we are told, consists in getting out of one's self; but the point is not only to get out - you must stay out; and to stay out you must have some absorbing errand.” 90 likes
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