The Outcry, Henry James’s final novel, is an effervescent comedy of money and manners. Breckenridge Bender, a very rich American with a distinct resemblance to J.P. Morgan, arrives in England with the purpose of acquiring some very great art; he is directed to Dedborough, the estate of the debt-ridden Lord Theign. But plutocrat and aristocrat come into unexpected conflict when a young connoisseur, out to establish his own reputation, declares a prize painting from the lord’s collection to be in fact an even rarer, and pricier, work than had been thought.
A popular success in its own day, but long unavailable since and now almost unknown, The Outcry is one of the most surprising and amusing of James’s works. Here he explores questions of privilege and initiative, repute and honor, high art and base calculation, revisiting some of his favorite themes with a deft and winning touch.
The story is told with all Mr. James’ delicate humor and gift for keen analysis.
The subject…has been handled with ingenuity, not without humor, with a fine effect of sharpness and perspicacity. That is Mr. James’s way. There are many fine phrases, crisply expressive, admirable flashes.
— The New York Times
If you thought you knew all the books of Henry James, think again— this one, James’ last, is largely unknown because it’s been out of print since its original publication in 1911. God knows why, though — it’s a delightful, surprisingly light-hearted take on James’ favorite topic, the clash of cultures…
- Format: Paperback
- Publication Date: March 31, 2002
- Pages: 208
- ISBN: 9781590170007
- Series: NYRB Classics