Washington Square MOBI Ê Paperback


  • Paperback
  • 258 pages
  • Washington Square
  • Henry James
  • English
  • 10 September 2014
  • 9780375761225

10 thoughts on “Washington Square

  1. Emily May Emily May says:

    “If you are going to be pushed you had better jump” Almost everyone in this book is awful but I think I liked it?I read Henry James once years ago and I picked The Turn of the Screw which turned out to be a bad decision It put me off for a long time I also hear that James gets a little experimental in his later works delving into that stream of consciousness style that has never really floated my boat which might explain why I heard a lot of complaints about him from English students at university Washington Suare however is of a straight up drama that sees familial duty clashing with a potential romance It's like Austen but infinitely depressing Maybe like Edith Wharton Here James' heroine is the well meaning plain and rich Catherine Sloper She falls deeply in love with a charismatic and broke young man called Morris Townsend whom her father is convinced wants Catherine for her inheritance He refuses to give his blessing to their engagement so Catherine must decide whether to remain loyal to her father or follow her heartThis is considered a classic but don't believe for a second it's not a total soap opera Between Dr Sloper going to interrogate Morris's sister and Catherine's Aunt Lavinia setting up secret meetings to advise Morris how to manipulate the doctor Catherine is just pulled from one drama to the next The doctor's self righteousness his coldness and his inability to respect his daughter's feelings make him an infuriating character And Aunt Lavinia seriously needs to mind her own businessIt's a short read but all the characters are very well drawn and nuanced Even if they are insufferable I enjoyed how James explored all their personal motivations but left a lot open to interpretation I am still not sure what message if any he wished to impart with the novel's conclusion but I do think I am ready to take on The Portrait of a Lady nowBlog | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Youtube


  2. Henry Avila Henry Avila says:

    Time the late 1840's in New York City Catherine Sloper a twenty one year old woman is the daughter of a prominent and wealthy doctor you'd think all the young men would be trying to marry her but Catherine is plain of face and very shy There's a good probability that she'll remain a spinster till the end of her life Catherine adores her father and is intimidated in his presence a very intelligent man DrAustin Sloper is The widower invites his widowed and emotional sister Lavinia her penniless clergyman husband left no money to stay at the Washington Suare mansion recently built by the sad physician he couldn't save his beloved wife and son A nice uiet neighborhood by the pretty park Everything changes this peaceful situation when Catherine meets MrMorris Townsend a beautiful man as she thinks at her cousin's engagement party Morris dances with the tongue tied girl Catherine she falls hard for him But Townsend is lazy an idler who lives with his sister a widow MrsMontgomery and five children medicine must have been very primitive back then Morris the desperate sponger pays close attention to Miss Sloper talking to her enthusiastically she doesn't say a word The suspicious but busy father has reservations about Morris what does he want with his daughter? It's apparent to everyone elsepoor boy wants to marry rich girl for her money Aunt Lavinia is a romantic has read too many of those type of books and helps the young couple in their courtship The aunt imagines that she is the main character in one of the novels she loves This foolish woman brought there as a companion for Catherine causes much turmoil in the household MrSloper has to save his daughter from this evil man Townsend or he fears Morris will ruin her spending all his money and treating Catherine badly Nevertheless does a lonely girl have the right to take a chance on love? No matter how dubious the prospect isCan a little happiness be worth all the headaches that will inevitably follow or does she live the rest of her days by herself comfortable but boredexisting and nothing Dr Sloper takes Catherine to Europe for a six month Grand Tour that turns into a year seeing the glories of the past but in the future will his daughter forget her beau? One of the best books from Henry James very accessible to the reader unlike later novels his prose and narrative are clear and not convoluted


  3. Fionnuala Fionnuala says:

    If I close my eyes and ask myself what impression this book has left on me the idea that comes immediately to mind is stillness The stillness radiates from the main character Catherine Sloper I see her as a monumental figure in a hieratic pose immobile meek but solid to the core Her immobility impressed me greatly especially as this book is uite like a play There is a lot of dialogue a small number of characters and one principal location where most of the important scenes take place The characters circle that space and they circle Catherine She rarely moves and since she pauses before answering every uestion addressed to her we have time to imagine her face turning slowly towards the speaker as she meditates her careful response The result of Catherine's overly cautious responses is that the other characters fail to know her and fail abysmally Though he allows the reader to see of her inner life than the other characters ever guess at Henry James allows Catherine to keep the core of her being a secret even from us I like to think that as he developed his heroine his respect for her grew so that he had no choice but to preserve her privacy and to keep the mystery at the heart of her stillness a mystery to the end That's what I wanted for her and that's what he deliveredWhile Catherine doesn't say very much the other characters than make up for her lack of verbosity The exchanges between Catherine's various relatives reminded me of Jane Austin's ability to deliver witty dialogue line after line of course people don't talk like this in real life but how we wish they did There were in fact many moments during reading when I was reminded of Jane Austin and particularly of Fanny Price from Mansfield Park Like Fanny Catherine is undervalued by her entourage and treated uite badly by certain among them But Fanny acuires a savior Henry James prefers Catherine to be her own savior


  4. Flora Flora says:

    I love this book so much I can't bear it As someone who adores just about every last word that Henry James over wrote it has never gotten any deliciously un satisfying than this a slim tart little novel about plain socially unpromising Catherine Sloper whose wealthy father refuses to allow her to marry Morris Townsend whom he believes to be mercenary No matter how many times I read this book the uestion still nags at me Does Morris have any feeling at all for Catherine or is he really just after her fortune? But why is this even a uestion?It's usually taken for granted that Morris is sketchily drawn the standard handsome and callow fortune hunter of melodrama and his own remarks to other characters in the novel seem to provide ample evidence I'm not fully convinced of this which isn't to say that he's fully drawn; rather I wonder if Morris Townsend might be a kind of failed stereotype a failure of the novel to keep him in his appointed place If he's so successfully sketchy then wouldn't the novel be redundant and its central ambiguity unambiguous? If that were so then Washington Suare would do little than encourage the reader's contemptuous pity for its heroine whose tragedy would be utterly generic her inability to recognize her beloved's venal motives That would be straight up melodrama or mean spirited satire That wouldn't be Henry JamesThe tragedy of the novel depends though on Catherine's father Dr Sloper one of James's most stunning and indelible creations The man despises his daughter yet wants to protect her; he sees through Morris's dandyish charm yet is most offended by the idea that his awkward unlovely daughter would win herself such a handsome charming husband His opposition to the match may be on the one hand patriarchal duty but it is no less an act of cold blooded cruelty and it is through his refusal to allow that the young man may like the money and yet be a fine husband that the real drama of Washington Suare emerges In fact the pressure of this character produces the novel's greatest and least predictable achievement the transformation of Catherine Sloper from a non character the pathetic jilted heiress into a character and the reader's tormented resistance to Dr Sloper not only keeps the door of Morris Townsend ajar but keeps the novel on a wonderfully shaky course morally and aestheticallyIn later years James himself commented that he started Washington Suare with great disdain for Catherine which metamorphosed into something much complicated similar maybe to Tolstoy's creation of Anna Karenina Maybe it's possible then to read Morris Townsend to whose consciousness we only have access in scant sharp shards of observation as the most reflexively novelistic in the book in the sense that his own ambivalent heartlessness may well mirror the novel's own confused motives James ultimately disavowed Washington Suare he even omitted it from his Collected Works but it marks the first appearance of the central conflict that governs his later greatest novels the predation of love upon money and vice versa The moral puzzle of the passionate mercenary haunts his major work and Washington Suare may well mark the death of the non characters villain and victim that started it all A strange beautiful perfectly unsatisfying book


  5. James James says:

    Book Review 4 out of 5 stars for Washington Suare a classic novel written in 1880 by Henry James Henry James is my favorite American realistic period or classic novelist and Washington Suare is an example of why This man can take a small situation and write 300 pages all about it And this is one of his shorter books In this classic the tale of the average woman who is set to inherit a large sum of money meets dashing man but of course he's only after her money She's considered plain looking He's considered ruthless They couldn't possibly be in love And as you follow the course of their romance you see what couples and relationships go through during the courting period at least as it was 150 years ago James is not shy when it comes to providing detailed descriptions of feelings and actions You read his words as though you are in your head thinking about choices and decisions for hours then acting on them This is a very direct story commentary on the normal every day live the differences between classes the way in which women must act to find a husband the efforts men go to so they can be free the attitudes of society towards older women or those who are not considered great beauties When you step away from this book hopefully not too frustrated at the story being so basic and calm you realize it's a reflection on reality on what actually was happening at the time Who would accept it today? Who would tolerate being treated in such a manner? And where do you go when you end up a bit hopeless? Stories like this aren't common nowadays at least in this form But when you put yourself into the time period this is a true treasure About Me For those new to me or my reviews here's the scoop I read A LOT I write A LOT And now I blog A LOT First the book review goes on Goodreads and then I send it on over to my WordPress blog at where you'll also find TV Film reviews the revealing and introspective 365 Daily Challenge and lots of blogging about places I've visited all over the world And you can find all my social media profiles to get the details on the whowhatwhenwhere and my pictures Leave a comment and let me know what you think Vote in the poll and ratings Thanks for stopping by


  6. Beverly Beverly says:

    Heartbreaking glimpse of the dynamic between a cruel father and his dependent daughter Washington Suare is a great short story; however it is so melancholy I have never reread it because I can never forgive or forget the despotic mental barbarity of her father


  7. Agnieszka Agnieszka says:

    Catherine Sloper doesn’t strike us as a representative heroine This novel has definitely expressive and memorable protagonists but it is Catherine who of all residents of the house at Washington Suare draws my attention Though she is neither pretty nor smart she is gentle and kind and painfully shy Just before Washington Suare I read Daisy Miller and now I simply can’t help comparing the main heroines Where Daisy is couettish and reckless Catherine remains modest and immovable Where Daisy fancies for romantic adventure Catherine has her feet firmly on the ground When the first shines and dazzles us with her beauty the other is plain and dull Or so we were told Unlike Daisy Catherine does not want to shine she does not demand our constant attention And though both like nice dresses unfortunately Miss Sloper’s taste leaves a lot to be desired So where Daisy looked lovely and dazzling Catherine appeared old and rather ridiculous Had only Daisy had a bit of Catherine’s common sense Or the other way round what if Catherine was flirtatious in the image of Daisy Miller? Catherine who was extremely modest had no desire to shine and on most social occasions as they are called you would have found her lurking in the backgroundCatherine being respectful and dutiful daughter is nonetheless a great disappointment to her father She has neither beauty of her late mother neither wit of her father Her days go on knitting keeping house visiting relatives and attempting at all cost to please her father Doctor Sloper is remarkable figure He’s a brilliant man renown doctor and he flatters himself being an expert in reading people He has neither good opinion on his sister Lavinia nor his daughter In his estimation Lavinia was like a revolving lighthouse; pitch darkness alternating with a dazzling brilliancy And about Catherine he used to think she is about as intelligent as the bundle of shawls; her main superiority being that while the bundle of shawls sometimes got lost or tumbled out of the carriage Catherine was always at her post and had a firm and ample seatAs one can see Catherine has not an easy life She is a victim of cruel remarks of her brilliant father who does not miss any opportunity any neat bon mot any snide comment even if it would hurt her feelings And his remarks can cut to the uick really She is a victim of her foolish aunt Lavinia whose unbridled appetite for love affair and secret romance makes her push Catherine into the hands of fortune hunter She is a victim of a handsome con man who made her to believe she was loved and wanted because of herself not her money Finally she is a victim of own good character and just awakened heartBut I do not see a victim in her at all I see a woman whose way to independence and self determination is long and bumpy I see a woman whom any humiliation and disappointment will not be spared I see a woman who is fed up with being constantly send to the cornerCatherine loves her father dearly but at the same time she’s afraid of him But it lasts until it dawns to her that father doesn’t love her that he doesn’t see his daughter as an independent self reliant person that he denies her right to own opinion and choices that even her act of rebellion is to him a kind of entertainment and he only thinks that his dull daughter had after all the guts to stand up to him that Catherine wasn’t to him a partner at all And once becoming aware of that fact she’s free She can acknowledge finally the fact that Maurice had trifled with her devotion She can see that aunt Lavinia eased him the task And recognition of that liberates her From her own point of view the great facts of her career were that Morris Townsend had trifled with her affection and that her father had broken its spring Nothing could ever alter these facts; they were always there like her name her age her plain face Nothing could ever undo the wrong or cure the pain that Morris had inflicted on her and nothing could ever make her feel towards her father as she felt in her younger years There was something dead in her life and her duty was to try and fill the voidI liked her loyalty and raw honesty her defiance and stubbornness to make her point her silent opposition to her upbringing to her father Doctor Sloper says at one point of Catherine not being scenic Poor Doctor he couldn’t be wrong And after all he deserved that little revenge from her hand in the end Everyone used to see Catherine as poor thing They couldn’t be wrong either And the fact that Doctor saw through Maurice from the beginning and despite that failed I found highly ironicAfter reading the last passage of the novel I couldn't help but smile when this image came to my mind Let's call it alternative review for Washington Suare though Catherine is too polite to express it that way But I can say it for her view spoiler hide spoiler


  8. Paul Bryant Paul Bryant says:

    Henry James is Gangnam styleGangnam styleCatherine Sloper is warm and humanle during the dayA classy girl who know how to enjoy the freedom of a cup of coffeeA girl whose heart gets hotter when night comesA girl with that kind of twistI’m a guy called Morris TownsendA guy who is as warm as you during the dayA guy who one shots his coffee before it even cools downA guy whose heart bursts when night comesThat kind of guyBeautiful loveableYes you Catherine Sloper yes you heyBeautiful loveableYes you hey yes you heyNow let’s go until the endI don't want your money Catherine SloperI don't want your money Catherine SloperNo yeah noyeahI want youMorris Townsend gangnam styleHenry James is Gangnam style Gangnam styleHenry James is Gangnam style Gangnam styleEh Sexy Lady Henry James is Gangnam styleEh Sexy Lady oh oh oh ohCatherine Sloper looks uiet but plays bridgeShe puts her hair down when the right time comesShe covers herself but is sexy than a girl who bares it allA sensile girl like thatI’m a guy called Morris TownsendI said it once now I say it againA guy who seems calm but plays when he playsA guy who goes completely crazy when the right time comesA guy who has bulging ideas rather than musclesThat kind of guyOn top of the running man is the flying man baby babyOh oh the daddy is the flying man babyDr Austin Sloper a wealthy and highly successful physicianYou know what I mean babyYou know what I'm saying babyParasitic spendthrift oh no noParasitic spendthrift oh no noParasitic spendthrift oh no noParasitic spendthrift oh no noFat balding cold eyed but still somewhat attractiveFat balding cold eyed but still somewhat attractiveFat balding cold eyed but still somewhat attractiveYeahWatch out – here comes the daddyBoo hoo – gangnam styleBoo hoo – gangnam styleHenry James is Gangnam style Gangnam styleHenry James is Gangnam style Gangnam style


  9. Perry Perry says:

    James Writes Fiction as if it were a Painful Duty Oscar Wilde“ One of the Nicest Old Ladies I Ever Met” Faulkner describing JamesOn my journey to read most modern classics as well as at least one novel by each renowned author I've repeatedly avoided Henry James Several years back I started on one and found myself daydreaming that my late grandmother was offering a sudsy solilouy on a couple of nice and clean romances of her time the 1930s In all events I finally opted for Washington Suare primarily because it's his shortest novel Despite a few pretty turns of prose and exuisite character delineation I found the driving narrative and dialogue passionless and soporific with characters so melancholy and settings so glum I soon did not care one wit about what happened Instead as I read my terrible need to be put out of my misery was lucky for me ultimately staunched by my innate sense of survivalIn sum this is the unhappy story of a rich controlling widowed father and his only child Catherine whom the dad deems unattractive unintelligent and uninteresting I too find alliteration effective to describe a novel that is Unbearable Unrelatable EnnuiA young man asks his daughter to marry shortly after meeting her at a society party in Washington Suare NYC Daddy suspects a money motive and forbids the marriage else he'll disinherit the daughter It sounded like a good plot Oh well to say any would ruin for you a story that I could not force myself to finish My Conception of Catherine Sloper as played by James Spader President Teddy Roosevelt was overly cruel when he called Henry James a little emasculated mass of inanity To Oscar Wilde's assessment though I shout AMEN


  10. Jim Fonseca Jim Fonseca says:

    Here we are in New York City in the mid 1880's a bit before Edith Wharton's time but in the same social milieu This is a kind of novel of manners a mid 19th Century soap opera Our author is Henry James so be prepared for the long convoluted comma and semicomma laden sentences akin to those of Jane AustenYet a fascinating book Catherine or less our heroine is plain stolid timid obedient and uite frankly a bit on the dull side She lives in her father's house With her mother deceased a widowed aunt is her caretaker and companion Catherine is in her late 20's when a suitor finally appears a late age for that era Her suitor would be uite a catch for a gal like Catherine so her father a wealthy physician immediately recognizes and so do we that he's after her inheritance Her father forbids the marriage and in that process we learn that he is vindictive petty tyrannical bullying and wait there's something even worse he doesn't really even LIKE his daughterThe novel fast forwards in the final chapters so we get to see how it all works out decades in the future It's great writing it's Henry James after all A good book for those who have a taste for the obliue references and flowery style of writing from that era


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Washington Square➽ [Reading] ➿ Washington Square By Henry James ➲ – Natus-physiotherapy.co.uk Washington Suare follows the coming of age of its plain faced kindhearted heroine Catherine Sloper Much to her father’s vexation a handsome opportunist named Morris Townsend woos the long suffering Washington Suare follows the coming of age of its plain faced kindhearted heroine Catherine Sloper Much to her father’s vexation a handsome opportunist named Morris Townsend woos the long suffering heiress intent on claiming her fortune When Catherine stubbornly refuses to call off her engagement Dr Sloper forces Catherine to choose between her inheritance and the only man she will ever truly love Cynthia Ozick in her Introduction to what she calls Henry James’s “most American fiction” writes that “every line every paragraph every chapter of Washington Suare is a fleet footed light brigade an engine of irony” Precise and understated this charming novel endures as a matchless study of New York in the mid nineteenth century.


About the Author: Henry James

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.