The Wings of the Dove

Cover image for


Author: Henry James
Published: 1902
Language: English
Wordcount: 192,231 / 529 pg
Flesch-Kincaid Reading Ease: 37.6
LoC Category: PS
Downloads: 5,488
Added to site: 2006.01.29 152

The Wings of the Dove, published in 1902, represents to my memory a very old–if I shouldn’t perhaps rather say a very young–motive; I can scarce remember the time when the situation on which this long-drawn fiction mainly rests was not vividly present to me. The idea, reduced to its essence, is that of a young person conscious of a great capacity for life, but early stricken and doomed, condemned to die under short respite, while also enamoured of the world; aware moreover of the condemnation and passionately desiring to “put in” before extinction as many of the finer vibrations as possible, and so achieve, however briefly and brokenly, the sense of having lived.

Show Excerpt

with, of establishing one's successive centres--of fixing them so exactly that the portions of the subject commanded by them as by happy points of view, and accordingly treated from them, would constitute, so to speak, sufficiently solid BLOCKS of wrought material, squared to the sharp edge, as to have weight and mass and carrying power; to make for construction, that is, to conduce to effect and to provide for beauty. Such a block, obviously, is the whole preliminary presentation of Kate Croy, which, from the first, I recall, absolutely declined to (xiii) enact itself save in terms of amplitude. Terms of amplitude, terms of atmosphere, those terms, and those terms only, in which images assert their fulness and roundness, their power to revolve, so that they have sides and backs, parts in the shade as true as parts in the sun--these were plainly to be my conditions, right and left, and I was so far from overrating the amount of expression the whole thing, as I saw and felt it, would require, that to retrace


Average Rating of 4 from 1 reviews: ****

If you like things black and white, if you like sparse language, if you like fast paced action, don't read this book.

If on the other hand, you can deal with many shades of gray, you can deal with multiple levels of complexity and you are OK with not quite knowing where the exact boundary lies between good and evil, then this book may be for you.

A young lady wants to wed, but her boy friend doesn't have the financial means to win the approval of her Aunt. Enter a bright young American girl, visiting London and they become friends. The American girl, has money but no family and she may be terminally ill? The young lady's boy friend is encouraged to spend time with the charming young American girl, by his future bride.

You can see the potential difficulties, can't you?

Well Mr James takes his time about it, but ever so slowly we are tangled into their web, leaving us eventually with an interesting exercise in moral judgment.

For me it was overly slow and plodding at times but it was also rich in language and thought, so worthwhile.

But, you be the judge, Mr. James intended.

(Promote your book here)

Featured Books

Cover image for The Wings of the Dove by Henry James - Free eBook


True Alpha 1
Alisa Woods

Shifters in Seattle – Desired (True Alpha 1) Ne... Read more

Cover image for The Wings of the Dove by Henry James - Free eBook

Open Minds

Mindjack Saga Book 1
Susan Kaye Quinn

When everyone reads minds, a secret is a danger... Read more

Cover image for The Wings of the Dove by Henry James - Free eBook

Rise of The Iron Eagle

The Iron Eagle Series Book 1
Roy A. Teel Jr.

Is The Iron Eagle a psychotic serial killer?Read more

Cover image for The Wings of the Dove by Henry James - Free eBook

XGeneration 1

You Don't Know Me (XGeneration Series)
Brad Magnarella

In the fall of 1984, Cold War tensions between... Read more

Cover image for The Wings of the Dove by Henry James - Free eBook

Drive, Ride, Repeat

The Mostly-True Account of a Cross-Country Car and Bicycle Adventure
Al Macy

Author Al Macy is a character and a tightwad wi... Read more

Cover image for The Wings of the Dove by Henry James - Free eBook

I Bring the Fire

Part I: Wolves (A Loki Story)
C. Gockel

In the middle of America, Amy Lewis is on her way... Read more

login | register

User ID


reset password

Help ManyBooks by sharing this page!

See it as donating a moment of your social media time, every little thing helps us improve and stay online.

Popular in This Genre

The list of books below is based on the weekly downloads by our users regardless of eReader device or file format.

The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes
by Arthur Conan Doyle
by Théophile Gautier
The Arabian Nights
by Andrew Lang
The Secret Adversary
by Agatha Christie
The ''Genius''
by Theodore Dreiser
Moby Dick
by Herman Melville
War and Peace
by Leo Tolstoy
Crime and Punishment
by Fyodor Dostoyevsky
The Awakening
by Leo Nikoleyevich Tolstoy

See more popular titles from this genre.