Selected by the Modern Library as one of the 100 best novels of all time
Neither Edith Wharton nor E. M. Forster admired it, but Louis Auchincloss calls The Wings of the Dove 'perhaps the greatest of Henry James's novels.' Published in 1902, the novel represented something of a comeback for James, whose only 'bestseller,' Daisy Miller, had appeared more than two decades earlier. Set amid the splendor of fashionable London drawing rooms and gilded Venetian palazzos, the story concerns a pair of lovers who conspire to obtain the fortune of a doomed American heiress. But the naïve young woman becomes both their victim and their redeemer in James's meticulously designed drama of treachery and self-betrayal. 'It seems to me that I know the characters even more intimately than I know the characters in the earlier novels of his Balzac period,' said Louis Auchincloss. 'The Wings of the Dove represents the pinnacle of James's prose.' This version is the definitive New York Edition, which appeared in 1907, together with the author's Preface.
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