By Henry James
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The Ambassadors by Henry James ranked # 27 on The Modern Library's Top 100 Novels list as selected by its Board Members.
The Ambassadors is a 1903 novel by Henry James, originally published as a serial in the North American Review.
This dark comedy, one of the masterpieces of James' final period, follows the trip of protagonist Louis Lambert Strether to Europe in pursuit of his widowed fiancé's supposedly wayward son. Strether is to bring the young man back to the family business, but he encounters unexpected complications. The third-person narrative is told exclusively from Strether's point of view.
In the New York Edition preface James proclaimed The Ambassadors to be the best of his novels. Critics have generally agreed that the book ranks high on the list on his achievements, though there have been notable dissenters like E.M. Forster and F.R. Leavis. The evocation of Paris has gained many plaudits, as the city becomes a well-realized symbol of both the beauty and the sorrow of European culture.
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