The Father: A Life of Henry James Sr.

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The Father: A Life of Henry James Sr. by Alfred Habegger
Henry James, Sr.’s children included William, the psychologist and philosopher; Henry Jr., the novelist; and Alice, author of a noted diary. What kind of father stood behind his epochally brilliant, original, energetic, and often troubled progeny? A noted writer himself, whose friends included the leading American thinkers of his time, James was a passionate, contradictory character. Alfred Habegger’s The Father is the first biography that attempts to capture the bewildering complexities of the James father’s public and private history – his early engagement with a radically deviant Calvinism, his stunning embrace of both authoritarian and democratic systems of ruling, his rich humanity and comic gifts, and his dealings with the most interesting people of his time. Henry Sr. had a headlong drivenness that took on a maniacal edge following his loss of a leg in adolescence, and as a father he turned the full force of what he was on his children. 21.95 paperback

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