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A Passionate Pilgrim

2.96  ·  Rating details ·  26 ratings  ·  7 reviews
1875 short story by the prolific American-born author and literary critic of the late 19th and early 20th centuries. He spent much of his life in Europe and became a British subject shortly before his death. He is primarily known for novels, novellas and short stories based on themes of consciousness and morality.
Paperback, 72 pages
Published May 4th 2007 by Dodo Press (first published 1871)
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Bill Kerwin
Aug 29, 2019 rated it really liked it

First published in two installments in The Atlantic Monthly (1871), A Passionate Pilgrim is the earliest production of his imagination which James included in his collected works. It is not only a successfully realized tale, but it is thoroughly representative, containing what would later be considered frequent Jamesian themes: the innocence heart of the American, the calculating mind of the European, and how they appreciateand exploitthe beauties of the European world.

In this story, naive
Manuel Alfonseca
Apr 12, 2017 rated it it was ok
The first two chapters of this early short story by Henry James are somewhat dull. The last two chapters improve. There is a kind of ghost story, but the reader is left with the impression that everything happens in the mind of the protagonist.
Emily Dybdahl
Oct 24, 2018 rated it it was ok
Shelves: american-lit
I honestly had a hard time staying engaged in this story. I love Henry James' flowery language and descriptions sometimes, for example:

"The short low windows, where lead and glass combine equally to create an inward gloom, retain their opacity as a part of the primitive idea of defence."

But in many cases his language gets too thoroughly descriptive and obscures the pure meaning.
Ronald Wendling
Dec 16, 2017 rated it liked it
Indecision in Henry Jamess A Passionate Pilgrim: A Family Inheritance

James first published this comparatively early novella in The Atlantic Monthly (1871) and then in book form (A Passionate Pilgrim and Other Tales) in 1875. His frequent revisions of the story indicate the importance he attached to it.

A Passionate Pilgrim anticipates situations and themes James keeps returning to in his major novels, beginning with Roderick Hudson (1875). At the novellas center is the relationship of the
Feb 14, 2019 rated it did not like it
Henry James being Henry James is fine if there is some character behind the verbiage. This is a farrago of nonsense painfully drawn out.
Dec 27, 2015 rated it really liked it
The "passionate" connotes more the suffering than enthusiasm, although both are present in a Clemente Searle's pilgrim to Old England. This is a man who suffered the fate of misfit aesthetics -- a leisurely educated gentry in old England instead of an impoverished nonstarter in America. Through a sympathetic bystander, he somehow was prodded into confrontation with his fate with Searle sister and brother in the old estate. This unfortunate American dissolved from his tenuous grasp of ...more
Mark Stephenson
Sep 07, 2010 rated it really liked it
Oddly enough, the title story seems the weakest in this first (1875) book length collection of short fiction by Henry James. It can't decide whether it's a story or a travelogue. I also read his revision for the New York Edition and, while very much improved, it still doesn't work as well as you would expect from such a great writer. HJ's comic vein is represented by The Romance of Certain Old Cothes and Eugene Pickering. His love of Italy is reflected in The Last of the Valerii and the ...more
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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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