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The Ivory Tower

3.33  ·  Rating details ·  60 Ratings  ·  5 Reviews
In 1914, Henry James began work on a major novel about the immense new fortunes of America’s Gilded Age. After an absence of more than twenty years, James had returned for a visit to his native country; what he found there filled him with profound dismay. In The Ivory Tower, his last book, the characteristic pattern underlying so much of his fiction—in which American “inno ...more
Paperback, 296 pages
Published February 29th 2004 by NYRB Classics (first published 1917)
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Glenn Russell
Jul 07, 2017 rated it it was amazing


The Ivory Tower – Published in 1917, the year following the great author’s death, this unfinished Henry James novel breaks off in the middle of Chapter Two of Book Four after about two hundred pages. James left extensive notes citing how he intended his novel to continue for another four or five hundred pages.

So the question becomes: Is this unfinished novel worth the time? By my reading, the answer is a rousing “yes.” Alan Hollinghurst, who wrote the Introduction for this New York Review Books
...more
Alan
Jul 09, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Both James's and Dickens' last novels (this and Drood) were unfinished, and I wrote my best short essay (8pp) on them as a Jr at college, in a wonderful seminar taught by G Armour Craig, future interim prez of Amherst College. Mine began: "Both offer a critical exercise on the genesis and form of art in novels. These two novels will always be dramatically in process of becoming; but also, they are in another sense finished. ..The endings of these novels could not be written by the authors as we ...more
Amy Gentry
Sep 17, 2007 rated it it was amazing
Best unfinished Henry James novel ever!
Perry Whitford
My word, James didn't half go on.

And I say that despite the fact that The Ivory Tower, left unfinished at his death, is merely a third of the novel he intended (nigh on a hundred pages of notes tell the rest of the story).

Graham Fielder becomes the unlikely heir to a fortune left to him when his rich uncle dies. Brought up in Europe, he becomes prey to a pair of typically American fortune hunters, Horton Vint and Cissy Foy.

At least he would have done, if james hadn't abandoned the project at the
...more
Shirabyoshi
Jul 12, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-in-2015
Three stars for the material, one for Ezra Pound's synopsis of how to build a James novel. If he'd finished it I suspect ten stars would have been about right.
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Goodreads Feedback: Search results 7 45 Apr 06, 2016 02:45PM  
NYRB Classics: The Ivory Tower, by Henry James 1 7 Oct 23, 2013 02:15PM  
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1,947 followers
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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