The Bostonians Ebook
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Henry James has written an American novel with a slate of all-American post-Civil War performers: abolitionists, transcendentalists, professional reformers, political zealots, ill-advised innocents. James still uses themes of the misuse of others and the desire to control them as the cardinal sin of all relationships. This story is also a chivalric tale of traditional society as enacted by Basil Ransom, an unreconstructed Southern intellectual from post-Civil War Mississippi. He travels north to Boston and meets Olive Chancellor who is a talented young woman brought up to join in the battle of equal rights for women. Olive has an innocent female friend, Verena, who has committed herself to the ‘Cause’ and admires Olive for her ability to speak eloquently in public circumstances. Both Olive and Basil are trying to save Verena for their own selfish reasons. James employs many different methods to present their reasons: a caricature of American life in the new industrial time after the Civil War, a fable whose hero is a defender of the family, a sociological introduction to the suffrage movement. The skirmishes become more personal to the characters and more specific to their situations as they explore the justifications for their beliefs. “The Bostonians” is a history as compelling and romantic as such an emotionally conflicted representation can offer. Please Note: This book is easy to read in true text, not scanned images that can sometimes be difficult to decipher. The Microsoft eBook has a contents page linked to the chapter headings for easy navigation. The Adobe eBook has bookmarks at chapter headings and is printable up to two full copies per year. Both versions are text searchable.
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