Henry James (1843-1916) was a writer of nineteenth-century literary realism. Among his best known works of fiction are The Portrait of a Lady, Washington Square, The Wings of the Dove, The Ambassadors, The Aspern Papers, and The Turn of the Screw.

NYR DAILY

A Week in October

Landscape by Emmanuel Lansyer, Godard Mill at Cernay, France, 1865

October: It might be an ado about trifles—and half the poetry, roundabout, the poetry in solution in the air, was doubtless but the alertness of the touch of Autumn, the imprisoned painter, the Bohemian with a rusty jacket, who had already broken out with palette and brush; yet the way the color begins in those days to be dabbed, the way, here and there, for a start, a solitary maple on a woodside flames in single scarlet, recalls nothing so much as the daughter of a noble house dressed for a fancy-ball, with the whole family gathered round to admire her before she goes.