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women's studies

Alice James: A Biography

Jean Strouse. Colm Toibin, preface.
Publisher New York Review Books  
Format paperback
Product Dimensions 8 x 5.4 x 0.9 inches
ISBN 9781590174531
Pages/Publication Date 367/2011
Daedalus Item Code 40692
This item is not available.
(Winner of the Bancroft Prize) The James siblings, all born in the 1840s, are perhaps the most extraordinary and distinguished family in American intellectual life. While Henry's novels are counted among the finest of the 19th century, and William produced groundbreaking philosophical and psychological works, their enigmatic younger sister Alice remained relatively unknown before her remarkable Diary became available, many decades after her death in 1892. Jean Strouse's generous, probing, and sympathetic biography reveals Alice as a fascinating and exceptional figure in her own right—a vivid and witty writer and an acute social observer, as alert, inquiring, and engaging a person as her two famous brothers.

"Jean Strouse's biography of this infantilized, untimely, brilliant, radical, wasted, proud, hysterical woman does her complexity justice. Without didacticism or polemic, Strouse squarely confronts and explores the broad issues of medical and intellectual history that Alice James' life raises so provocatively. Her book is searching and scholarly, fascinating and sound ... and its complex lessons, for both men and women, transcend intellectual history and touch life at its moral core."—Boston Globe

"Miss Strouse, in acquainting us with the younger sister of William and Henry James, has, as it were—and she is witty about Henry's 'ineluctable "as it weres"'—written a Jamesian novel, subtle, evasive, embroidered, splendid.... Miss Strouse, who weaves instead of hammering home her delicate points, is as expert in literary criticism as she is in recreating family life, medicine, psychology and education in 19th-century America."—NYTimes

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