Henry James considered The Ambassadors to be the best of his novels, and it is ranked on the Modern Library’s list of the 100 best English-language novels of the twentieth century. The novel has been adapted for stage, film, and television.
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“What had the man had, to make him by the loss of it so bleed and yet live? Something—and this reached him with a pang—that he, John Marcher, hadn’t; the proof of which was precisely John Marcher’s arid end. No passion had ever touched him, for this was what passion meant; he had survived and maundered and pined, but where had been his deep ravage?... The escape would have been to love her; then, then he would have lived. ” - Henry James, The Beast in the Jungle and Other Stories
Like a beast in the jungle, protagonist John Marcher waits for some catastrophic event to happen letting life and love pass by. Eventually, he discovers that tragedy has already occurred: nobody can give his wasted time back. The other two stories, ‘The Jolly Corner’ and ‘The Altar of the Dead’ are another great examples of Henry James’ wonderful craft and knowledge of the human soul.
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