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A free 90-minute Delve discussion on Daisy Miller, led by Christopher Lord. The discussion is limited to 16 people and pre-registration is required. Registered participants will receive information on how to sign on to the Zoom meeting.
Is the young American heiress Daisy Miller innocent–or reckless? A flirtatious girl from Schenectady or a dangerous woman who “is going too far” to suit the tastes of other Americans in Rome? Young Frederick Winterbourne, American-born but long living abroad, can’t decide; he wants to know Daisy better. But can Daisy ever stop long enough for him to observe her carefully?
This long “short” story that begins seemingly as a comedy and ends in tragedy, was Henry James’s biggest-selling work of fiction during his lifetime, and demonstrated at the time of its publication that he was a major literary force to be noticed. James’s “international” theme is presented here–the impact of Americans abroad and vice-versa–with concision and insight. And, although Winterbourne’s dilemma may seem slight to a contemporary reader, Daisy’s headstrong behavior in the face of a diseased, and disease-ridden, environment is as fresh as today’s headlines.
Participants will examine James’s use of the international theme, his mastery of dramatic form to show conflict, and discuss his famed approach to point of view–one of his significant contributions to the craft of modern literary fiction. If you think that James is impenetrable and difficult to read, you should find this early straightforward work of his fiction approachable and understandable–even if you can’t quite make up your mind what to think of young Daisy Miller.
The guide will be using the first American edition, published by Macmillan in 1879, the basis for the Penguin paperback (ISBN #978-0-14-144134-4). The New York Edition of 1909 is substantially different–90% of the sentences have been altered in some way. The first American edition is recommended for this Delve.
After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.