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Washington Square/James, Henry/Paper/0140432264/S048-E2
At the age of twenty-two, Catherine Sloper is regarded as a rather mature blossom, such as could be plucked from the stem only with a vigorous jerk.
Yet although she is neither clever nor beautiful (her taste in dress verges on the vulgar), Morris Townsend finds Catherine exceedingly charming. Less, it must be admitted, because of her evident goodness and truth than because she is due to inherit a substantial fortune. Meanwhile, the curious spectacle of his daughter's being courted by a handsome, athletic fortune-hunter is, for Doctor Sloper, at once an entertainment and a challenge...
Washington Square (1880), set in New York, belongs with Henry James's early novels. It is a spare and intensely moving story of divided loyalties and innocence betrayed, and it is also, as Graham Greene has said, "perhaps the only novel in which a man has successfully invaded the feminine field and produced a work comparable to Jane Austen's".