Study-Unit Description

Study-Unit Description


TITLE The English Novel in the Later Nineteenth Century: Henry James

LEVEL 02 - Years 2, 3 in Modular Undergraduate Course



DESCRIPTION Henry James (1843-1916) is one of the greatest American novelists, and is the author of some of the best-known works of fiction of the late nineteenth century. James also wrote important works of literary criticism, particularly on the art of the novel, as well as travel memoirs and drama.

This study-unit will introduce students to aspects of the life of Henry James, his main achievements, his literary criticism, and his interest in Italy and the 'International Theme', and his literary reputation.

The study-unit will focus on some of James' most popular works, including The Portrait of a Lady (1881), Daisy Miller (1878), and The Turn of the Screw (1898) and The Wings of the Dove (1902), as well as some short stories including 'The Figure in the Carpet'.

This study-unit aims to introduce students to the work and achievements of this important novelist.

Study-unit Aims:

This study-unit aims to introduce students to the work of the important American novelist Henry James.

The aims for students are:
- To understand the principal achievements and developments in the work of Henry James;
- To understand how the work of Henry James was influenced by the literary, intellectual, social and historical contexts within which he lived and worked;
- To read and discuss some of the most well-known novels and stories by Henry James, as well as his ideas on the art of fiction;
- To demonstrate an understanding of the works and material covered during the study-unit.

Learning Outcomes:

1. Knowledge & Understanding:

Students will gain knowledge and critical insights into some well-known works by Henry James, including The Portrait of a Lady, The Turn of the Screw, Daisy Miller and Wings of the Dove. Students will understand the importance of the work of Henry James in nineteenth-century American and English literature, and his influence on the genre of the novel in general. Students will also learn about the importance of the International Theme in the work of James as an American writer living in Europe.

2. Skills:

Students will be able to discuss and critique the works of Henry James as well as the International Theme in the nineteenth-century novel.

Main Text/s and any supplementary readings:

Main Text/s:

- The Portrait of a Lady (1881).
- Daisy Miller (1878).
- The Wings of the Dove (1902).
- The Turn of the Screw (1898).

Suggested Readings:

- Bloom, Harold (ed), Modern Critical Views: Henry James (1987).
- Fogel, Daniel Mark (ed), A Companion to Henry James Studies(1993).
- Freedman, Jonathan (ed), The Cambridge Companion to Henry James (1998).
- Salmon, Rachel, "A Marriage of Opposites: Henry James's "The Figure in the Carpet" and the Problem of Ambiguity" in ELH, Vol. 47, No. 4 (Winter, 1980), pp. 788-803.
- Gale, Robert L. "Henry James and Italy", in Nineteenth-Century Fiction, Vol. 14, No. 2 (1959), pp. 157-170.
- Ward, J.A., "The Ambiguities of Henry James", in The Sewanee Review, Vol. 83, No. 1 (Winter, 1975), pp. 39-60.
- Mariani, Umberto, "The Italian Experience of Henry James", in Nineteenth-Century Fiction, Vol. 19, No. 3 (Dec., 1964), pp. 237-254.


Assessment Component/s Assessment Due Resit Availability Weighting
Examination (1 Hour) SEM2 Yes 100%

LECTURER/S Petra Caruana Dingli

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