The Wings Of The Dove
By Henry James
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The Wings Of The Dove by Henry James ranked # 26 on The Modern Library's Top 100 Novels list as selected by its Board Members.
The Wings of the Dove is a 1902 novel by Henry James.
One of the masterpieces of James' final period, this novel tells the story of Milly Theale, an American heiress stricken with a serious disease, and her impact on the people around her. Some of these people befriend Milly with honorable motives, while others are more self-interested.
Despite the inevitable dissenters, The Wings of the Dove has achieved one of the strongest critical positions of any of James' works.
Ironically, one of the dissenters might have been the author himself. In his preface to the New York Edition, James spent much time confessing to supposed faults in the novel: defective structure, characters not as well presented as they could be, and a general failure to realize his initial plan for the book.
By and large, critics have regarded these faults as venial or nonexistent. Instead, they've concentrated on the magnificent central characters
and supporting cast, and the superb technique that James uses in their presentation. James' "principal tragedy," as critics have called it,
retains its ability to move readers with the classic emotions of pity and fear.
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