Read The Europeans by Henry James Patricia Crick Tony Tanner Online

the-europeans

Eugenia, the daughter of American expatriates, is the morganatic wife of a German prince, who is being urged to divorce her in favor of a state marriage. She and her artist brother, Felix, travel to Boston to meet distant cousins relatives, partially in hopes of making a wealthy marriage. Its wit, gaiety, and what Rebecca West calls its "clear sunlit charm" have made thisEugenia, the daughter of American expatriates, is the morganatic wife of a German prince, who is being urged to divorce her in favor of a state marriage. She and her artist brother, Felix, travel to Boston to meet distant cousins relatives, partially in hopes of making a wealthy marriage. Its wit, gaiety, and what Rebecca West calls its "clear sunlit charm" have made this masterly short novel one of the most popular of James's novels....

Title : The Europeans
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ISBN : 9780140621952
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 192 Pages
Status : Available For Download
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The Europeans Reviews

  • Fionnuala
    2019-03-11 13:22

    There's a character in What Maisie Knew who plays billiards. Not only does she beat her opponents at home, she also travels abroad to compete in tournaments. Given that the book was written in 1897, her extraordinary prowess is a little surprising. But for all her talent, she isn’t half so great at sending things flying in multiple directions as the Baroness Münster in The Europeans.The Europeans was written in 1878 but it is set thirty years earlier; the narrator tells us on the first page. So at the beginning, we find ourselves in 1840s Boston in the company of a duo who’ve just arrived from Europe: Eugenia, the Baroness, and her brother Felix. The pair were born somewhere in France or Italy but their mother hailed from Boston. Having fallen on hard times, they’ve come in search of their wealthy New England relatives.Henry James seems intent on contrasting the attitudes and manners of the two camps, the one sophisticated and light-hearted, the other puritanical and profoundly serious. At the outset, it appears likely that the Europeans will be defeated by the stoney sobriety of the New Englanders, but very soon, the Baroness sets to work on the locals. By the time she's finished, those who initially lay furthest from each other are brought together and those who lay side by side are smashed asunder. Her aim is super accurate and her run is spectacular. She is never defeated - though it may seem that she abandons her trophy on the severe soil of New England

  • Orsodimondo
    2019-03-16 21:18

    AFFINITÀ ELETTIVERomanzo breve del 1878, subito dopo “L’americano”, subito prima di “Daisy Miller”.Faccio una prova, racconto la storia di questo libro buttandola in burletta.Lee Remick è la baronessa Eugenia Camilla Dolores Münster nel film omonimo di James Ivory del 1979.1850. C’era una volta una baronessa tedesca, si chiamava Eugenia Camilla Dolores Münster, ed era cresciuta a pane e volpe (qui a Roma la si definirebbe ‘na paracula): infatti, quando il marito principe di Silberstadt-Schreckenstein le annuncia che vuole divorziare, pur trattandosi solo matrimonio morganatico, quindi è già previsto che i titoli e le proprietà del marito non passino alla moglie, essa pensa bene di ‘ntortare i cugini americani, che essendo del Nuovo Mondo devono per forza essere sempliciotti e pure tontolotti, magari anche un pochino selvaggi e con l’anello al naso come un pellerossa.Così parte per Boston e s’accomoda a casa Wenworth, che sono appunto i parenti d’America. Con lei viaggia Felix, fratello senza un centesimo, che si pretende artista.Lisa Eichhorn è Gertrude Wenworth.È chiaro per Eugenia che i cugini Wenworth servono solo per consentirle di combinare un matrimonio più vantaggioso e, quindi, di conoscere quello che lei deciderà essere il partito giusto per rimpiazzare il marito che presto sarà ex. D’altronde si è sempre partiti dal Vecchio Mondo diretti nel nuovo per cercare fortuna (= denaro).E così fanno spesso visita a ‘sti cugini parenti Wenworth che come sia ddice alla costa est degli US, son piuttosto puritani, al contrario dei due europei che invece son di costumi meno rigidi (più allegri?).I Wenworth vivono in campagna non lontano da Boston e si incontrano spesso coi vicini, tale Robert Acton e la di lui sorella Lizzie. L’uomo Acton è ricco di soldi fatti in Cina, e dotato di magione giusta. Il buon partito sembra individuato: si annuncia matrimonio d’interesse?I cugini Wenworth propongono ai cugini europei di trasferirsi nella loro dépendance.Eugenia conduce le danze protagonista assoluta, sovrintende il salotto, dirige gli incontri, fa teatrino, e riempie la dependance di tende e drappi (cioè curtain, che vuol dire anche sipario) per renderla meno semplice e più di stile: Cos’è mai la vita senza drappi?, dice infatti la baronessa, perché nella vita un sipario serve sempre eccome.Robin Ellis (a destra nella foto) è Robert Acton.Seguono un sacco di chiacchiere, di incontri e incroci e incastri.Finisce con tre matrimoni (ecco perché il richiamo all’opera di Goethe, Le affinità elettive del mio titolo), di cui uno vede l’artista fratello Felix sposare felicemente una cugina Wenworth, Gertrude, mentre Eugenia Camilla Dolores rimane all’asciutto, forse per troppo orgoglio, e senza nuovo marito da impalmare se ne torna (mogia) in Europa.Ho provato, mi sono impegnato per rovinare questa chicca jamesiana. Ma non penso di esserci riuscito: nonostante le mie scemenze, questo romanzo rimane una delizia, un intarsio di psicologie, un ricamo di caratteri, un elegante gioco in punta di penna-fioretto.Ancora Lee Remick. Cast in chiave minore per questo film di Ivory che anticipa i suoi successi del decennio successivo.

  • Sawsan
    2019-02-22 21:00

    رواية لطيفة نُشرت عام 1878, تندمج مع أجواءها وشخصياتها بسهولةتعرض صورة للحياة الاجتماعية في أمريكا في أواخر القرن التاسع عشر الاختلاف بين الأوروبيين والأمريكيين في طريقة المعيشة والنظر للحياةوالطبائع والسلوكيات التي تفرضها البيئة والثقافة في كل بلدأسلوب هنري جيمس جميل وفيه نبرة تهكمية واضحة في بعض أحيان نقاط الاختلاف والتلاقي بين المجتمع الأمريكي والأوروبي ونقدها من الموضوعات التي اهتم بها هنري جيمس في كتاباته وهنري جيمس يُمثل كلا الجانبين, هو مولود بأمريكا وأقام بها 30 عام من حياته ثم انتقل لأوروبا واستقر في لندن حتى وفاته

  • Paul Bryant
    2019-03-16 18:15

    PLOT SUMMARY (CONTAINS SPOILERS)Eugenia and her brother Felix arrive in Boston from Europe. The next day Felix visits some people. The day after that Eugenia visits them. Three days later their uncle visits them. Something about a painting. Eugenia flirts with a guy. Somebody got thrown out of college for drinking, heck, I don't know. Gertrude wants to marry Mr Brand. I don’t know who those people are either. No she doesn’t , her father wants her to because he can’t marry Mr Brand. Who's he? This is the 1880s. Robert Acton goes to the Wentworths' but Eugenia is not in their house. Maybe she was snatched up by anarchists. It doesn't say. Clifford at this point is in hiding in a place. It could be Niagara Falls or somewhere else, probably not that far from Boston. Mr Brand then visits Felix, who tells him Charlotte likes him. Who he means by “him” is not clear, it could be either. Eugenia walks into Robert, who says he loves her before falling down. He will have to join her in Europe after he recuperates.Three days later, Felix decides to visit his uncle and tell him he wants to marry him but he can’t. It’s sad. Gertrude turns up and tells her father the same thing. Mr Brand asks for Mr Wentworth's hand in marriage. He agrees. However Mr Brand and Charlotte later marry. Clifford has proposed to Lizzie Acton; I do not really know who she is - I thought I did but I read it wrong. Years later, Robert is finally free to marry Felix.

  • Annelies
    2019-02-27 15:09

    What makes Henry James so special? You take one setting, place a few persons in it and what it ends in is a really spectacular story consisting only of dialogues and a very good insight in the world and thinking of his personages. Also this story is almost a comedy on the social behaviour of europeans versus americans. The dialogues are pretty fast written; like they are spoken in a theater. It makes his works so lively.I don't know when it was written but I guess it's a rather early James. I think in later work he becomes more introspective and uses much larger sentences. Though I liked the book and found the whole story and plot well constructed.

  • Nikoleta
    2019-02-28 16:11

    Αυτό το βιβλίο μου άρεσε πολύ. Αν και οι «Ευρωπαίοι» είναι ένα από τα πρώιμα έργα του James και σε σύγκριση με τα μεταγενέστερα, ίσως να φαίνεται κάπως φλύαρο στις περιγραφές του, ήδη διακρίνουμε την εξαιρετική ικανότητα του συγγραφέα να διακρίνει και να καταγράφει με ολοζώντανο και θεατρικό τρόπο την ανθρώπινη συμπεριφορά και ψυχολογία.Τον συγγραφέα αυτόν χαίρομαι που τον διάβασα στα 30 μου και όχι παλαιότερα, διότι δεν θα ήμουν σε θέση να «πιάσω» και να κατανοήσω όλες τις λεπτές αποχρώσεις, τις υπόνοιες, τις χειρονομίες και αυτό το αθόρυβο εσωτερικό «αναβρασμό» των ηρώων του. Θα διάβαζα και θα σκεφτόμουν ότι είναι ένας ακόμη βαρετός συγγραφέας… Στην ηλικία που είμαι όμως, αυτό που έχω να πω, είναι ότι τα βιβλία του James είναι σαν την θάλασσα, μπορεί η επιφάνεια της να μας φαίνεται γαλήνια όμως στο βυθό της τα πάντα βρίσκονται σε διαρκή αλλαγή, κίνηση και αναστάτωση…!

  • Jasmine
    2019-03-13 13:20

    After having read three of his (earlier) works I slowly start to understand why Henry James is called 'the Master'. Again 5 shining stars!

  • Paul
    2019-03-05 19:05

    3.5 stars; rounded up.A brief novella, which is effectively a comedy of manners, in which, on the surface, little happens. It reminded me of Edith Wharton’s The Age of Innocence. The plot is simple; Felix Young and his sister Eugenia are the Europeans. Felix is a painter, who lives a bohemian lifestyle. He is incessantly (nauseatingly) cheerful. His sister Eugenia is in a morganatic marriage and her husband’s family want a divorce. They lead a wandering, essentially frivolous lifestyle. They decide to visit their American cousins, the Wentworths. Head of the family is their uncle Mr Wentworth. He has two daughters, Gertrude and Charlotte. Charlotte is very serious and religious, Gertrude is restless and uncertain what she wants. Their younger brother Clifford has just been suspended from Harvard for drinking. Throw into the mix Mr Brand, a Unitarian minister who wants to marry Gertrude and the Actons and you have the lot. Robert Acton is a friend of the family who has been to China and made his fortune and is supposed to be worldly wise. His sister Lizzie makes up the main players. The Wentworth’s are New England Puritans of a certain moral tone and life is a serious business. This is often portrayed as James having a swipe at Americans; however it isn’t that simple as Felix and Eugenia are American as well. The employment of an omniscient narrator means James is able to remain entirely neutral in telling his tale. He analyses a Puritan morality, contrasting it with a more “modern” reliance on feelings, emotions and the self. A type of individualism compared to the communal stiltedness of Puritan New England. Gertrude knows she does not wish to marry Mr Brand but does not know how to go about expressing it. Felix and Eugenia are more self-confident. James is critical of the Puritanism of the Wentworth’s, but it is tempered with an underlying affection as he also finds much to admire. Mr Wentworth is not the tyrannical father he could have been; he just does not understand the approach to life of his European cousins, though he does try. The real villain is Robert Acton who seems more modern and aware, but proves not to be. A fairly light confection, with a little more going on than meets the eye, but a good introduction to James.

  • Wayne
    2019-02-23 15:21

    Deceptively slight, this early James packs a punch full of complexity and resonating depths.It is sad to see so many students on this site dismissing it as an easy, and therefore a boring and unchallenging read.God Help America!!!!1967!! Adelaide University!!Miss Sweetapple doing my first Henry James!!They were both terrifying!!!I LOVED Gertrude Wentworth, the most gutsy, rebellious and unsung of all James' heroines, as far as I'm concerned.But what is happening?? The subtlety is suffocating...but invisible to superficial readers.They read desperately between the lines for some clue.So it is dismissed as 'light' James.And students are BOOOOOOOrrred.But this thin volume has the weight of a brick!!!And James is not going to spoonfeed anyone.He is not going to take sides with the ardour of a Patriot.His concerns and sympathies lie elsewhere...Earthquakes are occurring and prejudices and limitations exposed, and lives never take off. But others do from unexpected quarters.Prissy Robert Acton cannot tell the difference between a lie and a little social manipulation. His Puritan World is religiously black/white. Rather than losing him, the Baroness has a lucky escape from a life of utter stultification with a narrow, unfeeling and supreme bore. Far from the Gentlemen of Boston discovering the Baroness' deceitfulness, they are well and truly outclassed and way in above their heads. Here is a woman who lives in a world of her own creation, while most of the New Englanders are just trying to follow a prescribed set of rules and out of touch with their real feelings. Except for refreshing Gert, who shows up the pinnacle Acton for the weakling he is. As does Felix.James is anything but black and white.Shades of grey predominate. So those who rush in waving their interpretive tool labelled "Europe versus America", "decadence versus healthy innocence", "artifice versus natural openness", just won't 'get it'.James is endorsing no one ...totally. Gertrude and Eugenia BOTH tell fibs!!!!Gertrude alone appreciates the Baroness.Gertrude is trying to expand beyond the limits imposed by her family and thus act more naturally. She is in touch with her real feelings whereas the other New Englanders are in denial of their feelings largely due to their Puritan ethic. James mocks the Americans.If the Europeans,Felix and his older sister Eugenia, the Baroness(in fact they are Americans too, - see, no black/white dichotomy!!!) are opportunists, this is much more the image of the classical brash, outgoing, on-the -make American than the New Englanders, who self-seriously stress their past history, what little of it they have;one only need recall Mr Wentworth's 80 year old house, his'George Washington slept here', James' ironic "ancient city of Boston" and a youth dominated by dead and dying parents. This blurring of what are seen by the unwary and unobservant as strict opposites continues. Because James treats the Wentworths with sympathy, gentle irony and humour, so for all their limitations they come across as naive,charming and generous people but out of touch with their true feelings and so victims of self-deception. Eugenia may thus shine but James also shows her as a victim of her self-interest.It is in Acton that America stands mainly condemned. Despite his travels and wider experience of art and manners in comparison with the limited world of the other New Englanders, he is still unable to act on his feelings. It is a young girl thirsting unwittingly for his experiences, who outstrips him in every way. Gertrude!!The other New Englanders have real passions which they deny by a self-imposed morality. Acton uses his morality as an excuse for his inadequacy of feeling. His worldliness is not rich, profound and wise, but a mere outward trapping. He takes a high moral tone, denouncing Eugenia as a liar and thus saving himself from confronting his inadequate emotional life. Far from being superior and unsusceptible to the Baroness' charms, he is in flight from a superior being whose emotional life he cannot match. Surface flees depth.Deceptively slight, this early James packs a punch full of complexity and resonating depths. Sad to see so many students on this site dismissing it as an easy and uninteresting read.God Save America!!!!

  • Gary Inbinder
    2019-03-02 18:23

    This short novel is a delightful introduction to Henry James, especially so for readers who have avoided this author because they’ve heard he’s “difficult” or “obscure.” The story is set in mid-nineteenth century Boston and it incorporates what’s sometimes referred to as James’s “International Theme,” the dramatic conflict between American innocence and European experience. Two expatriate Americans, Felix, a happy-go-lucky artist and his sister Eugenia, a baroness married to a minor German prince, pay a surprise visit to their wealthy American cousins. Eugenia’s motives are questionable; her morganatic marriage is on the rocks, and she’s angling in American waters for a rich American husband. Felix, on the other hand, takes things as they come; in fact, he’s one of James’s most amiable and charming characters. The sudden appearance of the “Europeans” in suburban Boston has an immediate impact on the lives of their American cousins, the Wentworths. The head of the family, a middle-aged widower, is a stolid Yankee, leery of “foreign” influences. His three twenty-something children have varied responses: staid Charlotte is wary; Clifford, who’s temporarily on leave from Harvard for drinking and other wild-oats sowing, is curious, and his curiosity is focused on the sophisticated Eugenia; Gertrude, the “peculiar” one has a natural affinity for handsome, Bohemian Felix. A clever comedy of manners ensues with complications arising from natural affinities and relations. Gertrude, who immediately hits it off with Felix, is being pursued by the stiff Unitarian minister, Mr. Brand who is better suited to Charlotte; Clifford strays from his All-American girlfriend Lizzie Acton who immediately identifies Eugenia as a rival. Lizzie’s older brother Robert, a “man of the world” who has made a fortune in the Chinese trade, becomes the main focus of Eugenia’s attentions. Acton is attracted to Eugenia, but he also questions her motives. Can he trust her? Robert’s suspicions create a point of dramatic conflict and tension reminiscent of James’s “Daisy Miller,” although in that famous novella, written contemporaneously to “The Europeans”, Daisy is the “innocent, unsophisticated American girl” and Frederick Winterbourne the suspicious, Europeanized American.The romantic story-line is about as close as James ever got to Jane Austen, but there are dark shadows in the Robert /Eugenia relationship that belie the sunny “All’s Well That Ends Well” denouement. The novel is beautifully written and very readable with vivid descriptions of mid-nineteenth century, upper-class New England life. Highly recommended.

  • qtasha
    2019-03-02 17:15

    All I can type down now is, read this overlooked Henry James classic , watch the movie of the same name by the film makers Merchant And Ivory made in 1979 starring Lee Remick. Henry James is considered a literary master for a reason. If you watch the film you won't be able to get the beautiful music out of your head.

  • Captain Sir Roddy, R.N. (Ret.)
    2019-02-21 13:56

    The Europeans is an absolutely delightful novel! Fun from the first page through the last. Also, it is really more of a novella and can easily be read in one or two sittings.The Europeans is actually a 'flip', if you will, in the normal Jamesian plot-line. In other words, rather than the story of an American expatriate in Europe, this is the tale of two American expats who come back to visit family in New England. This is the story of Eugenia, the Baroness Munster, and her younger brother Felix Young, who leave Germany because of her disintegrating marriage to a German prince. They end up moving in with the Wentworths, relatives on their late-mother's side of the family. I gotta say at this point too, the reader is gonna fall in love with Gertrude Wentworth--pretty much like everyone else in the novel!Obviously, the staid New England Puritan Wentworths and their neighbors are largely over-awed by their European cousins, but everyone settles in after a bit and 'the good times roll'. Felix is an artist--a genuine good natured fellow and free spirit--and a big hit among all of his American friends and family. Eugenia, the Baroness, is a bit more of an enigma, and everyone minces about around her, but she too is actually a good soul. She ends up being a positive influence on several of the novels more important characters.Romance abounds among all of the young people, and while it is fun to watch the flowers of love open and blossom, it is also worth following James as he guides the reader through the comparisons and contrasts between the pragmatic European continental sensibilities of Eugenia and Felix, and the fresh, but restrained New England practicalities of the Wentworth son and daughters and the Acton brother and sister.This a free-spirited, flibbertigibbet novel that asks for nothing more than that the reader sit back and enjoy it. It ain't deep, it ain't all that serious, it is simply a heck of a good little story that upon finishing you realize that you're very glad that you read it. And you know what? I'll read it again sometime. Solid four of five stars for me!

  • Lauren
    2019-03-10 14:05

    4.5* - Full review can be found on my blog: https://wheretheresinktherespaper.wor...

  • John
    2019-03-12 14:25

    A story about the contrast in manners and outlook of two Europeans and the New England puritanical and humorless relatives. A brother and sister come to America with a goal of making or finding a fortune. Felix and the Baroness his sister are worlds apart to the Wentworth’s. Gertrude wants to escape her life and see’s an opportunity. The Baroness also wants to find a wealthy benefactor and see’s a candidate or two. This is a story about morals and truth. The ending is a good one and not everyone goes away unhappy.

  • Yair Ben-Zvi
    2019-02-22 15:56

    It's a funny thing (to start review/thought like someone much older and, presumably, more East Coast than I actually am) but I'd actually forgotten how much I love Henry James' use of language. Now, it's been years, maybe half a decade, since I last read James. The book in question was his "The American" which in typical James fashion illustrates the growing chasm of difference between two ostensible (and superficially similar) counterparts: white Americans of the New World juxtaposed with white Europeans of the Old World. But I remember thoroughly enjoying James' delineation of social and cultural divisions and how such essential arbitraries can be just that, a paradox founded on something reified into all but spoken law, but really predicated on nothing save belief and assumption, or to put it more simply: air. And in reading James I found then as I found now the joy (and the work) of reading his language. And that's the thing, really. I didn't realize until visiting James again with "The Europeans" that I'd grown so complacent in my reading habits. For the past few years I've read more than a few texts that would/could/should be classified as 'complex' or at the very least 'not simple'...but only now, in writing this review, do I realize that, save for a few exceptions, that complexity lay, mostly, in content but not in style. William H. Gass and his "Omensetter's Luck" would be one of those exceptions and in bringing that up it seems to me that a more fitting counterpart to James could not be found (at least not in my subjective and recently read oeuvre). I'd forgotten that James, like Gass, doesn't ask of the reader, he demands of the reader a certain level of cognizance, of linguistic flexibility, and even malleability of comprehension (given the floweriness of his sentences in both structure and word choice) and that these authors (used in the abstract) and their books only 'work' and even function as well as the reader is able to integrate, cognitively, with the words on the page. Is it easy or light/'beach' reading? No, or at least I wouldn't say it is for most. But that's exactly the point. Some books are simply read. While are others are read as a threshold to further experience. For Gass, his content and style allowed this transcendence. And for my new/old friend James, it's a corollary to this, a profusion of rich and fecund sentences that build upon the (admittedly) simple and even cannibalized concepts of his other novels to create something like a language lover's (and reader's) dream.The only reason this novel gets a three and not a four from me can be stated a lot more simply; it's too damn short. James himself apparently gestured towards this when (I think?) his brother criticized the novel and he responded in kind. So, in essence, what we have here is novel and a story with a gorgeously demanding first and second act...but unfortunately let down just a bit by a truncated and even somewhat neutered final act. But again, in the case of James and a very small number of others, the experience inherent inthe act of reading and comprehending his words (almost) more than makes up for the other failings of the text.

  • Alfred
    2019-03-19 14:58

    I read this bad boy in no time over Holiday Break; it's light as a feather. Short little novella, a romance that takes place in the "Arcadian setting of the New England countryside in mid-nineteenth century America." Felix Young and his sister the Baroness Munster come from Europe to visit their American cousins. The deal is that the Baroness' "morganatic" marriage to some German nobleman is about to be annulled because his family has decided he needs to hitch up with royalty. So she is here seeking her fortune via marriage to some sugar-daddy gentleman type. Though the book's basically hot air, I kinda dug it. It's filled with bloated sentences like this: "It would not have alleviated her companion's distress to perceive, just then, whence she had sympathetically borrowed this ingenuity." Riiight.At any rate, the show is stolen by Felix, who's this absurdly positive dandy who's always painting, flirting, and just generally being psyched. He thinks American women are uncommonly pretty, the sunsets are the best on planet Earth, and the polite social scene stateside is highly amusing. Sounds annoying, right? But it isn't somehow. And there is a good description of why not: "It was to be observed that while Felix was not at all a serious young man there was somehow more of him - he had more weight and volume and resonance - than a number of young men who were distinctly serious." Felix falls for his American cousin Gertrude, and you like her just because he likes her.As for his sister, the Baroness Eugenia, she just sort of sucks. You keep hearing about how charming and brilliant she is, but she never says anything charming or brilliant. She's just bored, and her looks are described as "not pretty...but she carries her head like a pretty woman." I get that, kind of, but she can go on carrying her head like a pretty woman...she would still do well to not suck.Anyway, love triangles happen, and couples court each other. There are weddings and love connections narrowly averted. Overall, it's just fine with me. Read it if you want, if you like Jane Austen and all that. If not, well, that's fine too.P.S. - I'm an easy grader generally, but I just changed my grade from 4 to 3 stars (should be a 3.5). Bah frickin humbug.

  • Michaela Wood
    2019-03-04 13:03

    Clever little book by James. I am more interested since I read the essay by Richard Poirier at the end, and learned that this was one of James' earlier books although published later, and that the influence of James' feelings about Hawthornes' writing is throughout. I have never cared much for Hawthorne myself, but learning of James' specific criticisms, I found myself bristling under a supposed slight on the culture of the states as compared to Europe (I make fun of the states, not you H. James...). I will have to read more because my reading of the essay was simultaneous with drinking.The book itself is mesmerizing. James is a great writer, and this book doesn't cultivate those too lengthy descriptions I find so tedious in The Tragic Muse. I would recommend this for all readers of Edith Wharton, Henry James, and the like, with the added rec. that it is short and sweet.

  • Asmaa Ali
    2019-03-01 16:07

    رواية لطيفة قلبا وقالبا..

  • Illiterate
    2019-03-21 14:13

    Romantic comedy. Europeans rearrange the affairs of Americans who are characteristically out of touch with their feelings.

  • Paul The Uncommon Reader
    2019-03-20 15:17

    Henry James – lightBefore tackling the heavier James stuff (“The Portrait of a Lady”, “The Ambassadors” and “The Golden Bowl” are on the list), I wanted to start with something lighter and was not – in that regard, at least – disappointed by this compact observation of late 19th Century Euro-American social comparisons and differences.As a European myself, with some American friends and experience, it was fascinating to see how attitudes have shifted, mainly, I think, due to the shift of power and influence that has occurred in the now nearly 140 years since the book was published. Then, James seems to present to us Americans as reserved, provincial, assiduous and, compared at least to the elite European classes, unsophisticated and socially reticent. Without wishing to create stereotypes, now I’d say that roles have reversed. Certainly nowadays it is American trends, ways of thinking and politics that Europeans follow (and sometimes mindlessly ape) rather than vice versa.In socio-political terms it was, of course The United States of America that broke away from top-down, class driven, elitist monarchies; the Declaration of Independence and the Bill of Rights were unequivocal rejections of the emphasis on power for the landed gentry and the monarchical political systems of Europe. The stranger it is then that many Americans, then as now, were/are so in thrall of European aristocracy; in thrall and taken in by the brash, self-confident, extrovert he-hawing of what was ultimately an unproductive, lazy, privileged class of parasites. (How ironic that, although it is Felix and Eugenia, the Europeans, who are destitute and seeking their fortunes through marriage – and not, it must be noted, by actually earning a living (they couldn't) – that although it is they who are the beggars, it is their hospitable American cousins who almost bow to them and seem oddly at their beck and call and service. James, of course, with an American father and a Scottish mother, and having moved between the US and Europe for the first twenty years of his life and then settling in England, was in an ideal position to make these comparisons. But. I missed the incisive irony of Eliot and the meticulous detail and melodrama of Dickens and the passion of Hardy and the (admittedly much earlier) Brontes. But then again, James’ emphasis on visual descriptions and on action rather than introspection marked a new era in literature, possibly influenced by the advent of photography (?), so one isn't comparing like with like.“The Europeans” is, of course, only a James miniature, but served me well as a re-introduction to meatier fare to come.

  • Anastasia
    2019-03-08 17:14

    Η πρώτη μου επαφή με τον Χ.Τζέιμς ήταν σα να είχα μπροστά μου ένα ζωγραφικό πίνακα,ο οποίος πινελιά,πινελιά γέμιζε το ταμπλό...απίστευτη γραφή με μοναδική καθαρότητα και ευκρίνεια χαρακτήρων....νόμιζα πως τους είχα μπροστά μου και μιλούσαν....

  • Marianne
    2019-03-19 18:13

    3.5 stars! I have tried to get into reading Henry James before through The Turn of the Screw however, I found it to be a chore to read and after trying 2 times I submitted to defeat. I found this at my local secondhand bookstore and the plot was very interesting to me. I like the idea of two cultures coming together and seeing the differences and similarities that can be observed as well as all the hijinks that ensue afterwards. The Europeans is a short novel, my edition being 178 pages long, but it is certainly not lacking in content. Its commendable how Henry James could provide this relatively simple premise, possessing a few characters, with the total number of pages being under 200, and create a pretty intriguing and amusing story. Thumbs up for that. The two main characters of Felix and Eugenia are very fascinating and the contrast that is created with their Puritan American cousins is interesting to read about. The one gripe I do have is that it could drag on in certain chapters. Overall, this was good short story that ended quite nicely with how the story unfolded. I'm glad I picked this up. If I hadn't, I certainly would have missed out on this overlooked classic.

  • Kate
    2019-03-08 13:18

    For a short book, this one moves slowly, however, it does hail from the 19th century, when people spent more time concentrating on the written text.James captures beautifully the New England landscape, from the bleak spring rains of the Boston Public Gardens to the bright blue skies over fields in the countryside. It's been a long time since I have read a book that takes so much time to establish the ambience, from what a room looks like to how the weather impacts a character's mood. The story is simple, with Eugenia and her brother Felix traveling from Germany to visit their American cousins, of whom they know nothing except that they are "well off." While Felix, the laughing artist is quite easy to size up and understand, Eugenia is a far deeper and conflicted character. She is fighting a dissolution of her marriage to a German prince, has no money, and feels that her life is running down into the gutter. The change of scenery suggests that she is here to use her cousins simply to her own financial and social advantage. Through the course of the visit, we meet the cousins, including Charlotte and Gertrude, their father Mr. Wentworth, his ne'er do well son, Clifford, as well as the neighbors, Mr. Action and his young sister Lizzie. Mr. Wentworth is stern and unyielding, but does not develop much. Gertrude is a very interesting character--described as strange by her family, her only strangeness is a desire to wander and express herself, which is greatly out of the ordinary in buttoned-down New England culture. The book is generally regarded as a social comedy, remarking on the differences between Europeans and Americans, but I feel the transformation that is made in Eugenia puts this story a cut above. She examines her position in reference to American society, and though presented with many opportunities to "make her fortune," she ultimately returns to Europe. I view this as the adventure having forced Eugenia to take stock of herself, and draw her strength inwardly for the first time, rather than relying on her name and status to bear her up.

  • Célia
    2019-03-12 18:58

    Os Europeus era o último dos três livros que tinha deste autor cá por casa; Daisy Miller e Washington Square não se revelaram leituras memoráveis e para ser muito sincera não esperava que este fosse, mas ainda assim decidi lê-lo e perceber se à terceira era de vez que decidia que este autor clássico não era propriamente a minha praia.Não acontece muita coisa em Os Europeus. Ao contrário do que sucede em Daisy Miller, aqui a “ação” decorre na América com a visita de dois irmãos europeus: a baronesa Eugenia Münster e o seu irmão Félix. Eugenia era casada com o irmão de um príncipe europeu, mas devido à sua falta de raízes nobres foi posta e lado, e por isso decide rumar à América em busca de uma fortuna, que espera encontrar nos familiares que lá residem. E o livro basicamente gira em torno da chegada de ambos ao país, das interações com os familiares e do choque de culturas e mentalidades.Penso que o tema principal do livro é o confronto entre realidades e modos de estar diferentes: o puritanismo dos residentes na América (em concreto em Boston, na Nova Inglaterra) contra o lasso modo de vida europeu ou a rigidez e taciturnidade de Eugenia contra o feitio fácil e alegre do seu irmão Félix. A forma interessante, ainda que por vezes algo implícita, como este tema é desenvolvido acaba por ser, quanto a mim, o ponto alto do livro. Também gostei da escrita de Henry James, que continua muito na linha do que já conhecia. Mas de resto, tenho pouco a destacar: não senti particular afinidade pelas personagens principais ou secundárias e acho que é preciso estar num estado de espírito particular para não sentir algum aborrecimento com a falta de acontecimentos que façam o enredo avançar ou ganhar algum interesse. Infelizmente, não me aconteceu.Dei três hipóteses ao Henry James e em nenhuma delas me cativou o suficiente para me parecer valer a pena continuar a explorar a sua obra. Por um lado, sinto alguma pena, mas por outro não deixa de ser positivo ir descartando autores da minha infindável lista de interesses.

  • Eric
    2019-02-18 17:10

    A charming bagatelle. Hardly a 'masterpiece of major quality,' as F.R. Leavis claims on the back of my edition (do other 1970s Penguins, say of Austen and George Eliot, bear pedagogic blurbs from 'The Great Tradition'?), but funny and well-executed. The American characters are a bit pallid and vague, perhaps intentionally, but the titular Europeans are brought off with great vividness: Felix Young is hilarious, particularly in his exchanges with Mr. Wentworth, and the Baroness Munster presents a very interesting sketch of the perfectly sociable woman, burnished to a superhuman civility -- she's almost an early draft of Madame Merle.One of the things I really like about Edmund Wilson is his 1938 essay 'Justice to Edith Wharton,' a valiant (if occasionally condescending) attempt to point Wharton's virtues in the immediate posthumous nadir of her reputation. While talking about 'The Age of Innocence' he remarks that you have only to set it beside 'The Europeans' to see the starkest difference between those oft-likened writers; in both novels, he says:'...a Europeanized American woman returns to the United States to intrude upon and disturb the existence of a conservative provincial society; in both cases, she attracts and almost captivates an intelligent man of the community who turns out, in the long run, to be unable to muster the courage to take her, and who allows her to go back to Europe. Henry James makes of this a balanced comedy of the conflict between the Bostonian and the cosmopolitan point of view; but in Edith Wharton's version one still feels an active resentment against the pusillanimity of the provincial group and also, as in other of her books, a special complaint against the timid American male who has let the lady down.' Hmmm.

  • Christopher Sutch
    2019-03-20 15:23

    James's fourth novel is a very short romantic tale resembling a reversal of the usual plot in which country cousins come to the city to meet their more urbane kin. In this case, the European cousins come to America to meet their less-sophisticated family members, and James does a very nice job of portraying late 19th-century culture shock in the relations between Europeans and Americans. While the plot mainly focuses on fairly predictable romantic liaisons, I read the work as being centrally concerned with communication, miscommunication, and difficulties in interpreting meanings and motives of people from different cultures. This plays itself out not only on the verbal level, but in terms of relationships, philosophies, cultural institutions, and aesthetic ideals (and I find it very interesting that, at several points during the narrative, different characters are represented as covering their mouths during conversations--using fans, their hats, their hands, etc.). A light entertainment with some very intereting cultural observations, and James's most accomplished novel up to this point in his career.

  • Craig
    2019-03-13 17:22

    A brother and sister (the sister being a married but alienated Baroness) travel to America to seek their fortunes among their distant relations in Massachusetts. As with other of James' novels, this is a brilliant charater study (all of James' characters are strongly painted) which also pits (rather puts at odds) the diverse culture differences between the provincial European and upstart America societies. Social status and standing predominate. James is his usual brilliant self in word choice/combination and high literary style. However, it seemed as though he leaves the story half told. The narrative comes to an abrupt ending as though the author became tired and refused to write any further. Nevertheless, I recomment the book.

  • Zhara
    2019-03-07 13:13

    Short, charming story. Henry James satisfies again.

  • Becky
    2019-03-12 14:00

    Premise/plot: Eugenia (Baroness Munster) and her brother, Felix Young, have come to America to visit their American cousins. She is separated from her husband, but it's a morganatic marriage. She has papers to sign--or not sign--that will determine her future. The cousins they visit are: Gertrude, Charlotte, and Clifford Wentworth. A few others play an important role in the novel: a brother and sister, Robert and Lizzie Acton; and a Mr. Brand. Eugenia is very different from Gertrude and Charlotte and Lizzie. She is a puzzle to Clifford and Robert. Both men pursue her, perhaps not with the intent to marry her and change her, but, pursue her because she's so different, mysterious, evasive, elusive. Neither Clifford or Robert are a good match--an equal match--for Eugenia. Robert may be rich, but, five minutes alone with him is four minutes too long. He's a BORE quite simple. Her act of deciding to leave America and turn down his marriage proposal might be called selfless if she'd not disliked him so much!!!Gertrude is 'the troubled' one of her family. Her father and her sister keep trying their best to mold her, to train her, to conform her, to tame her, to control her. Gertrude doesn't really like their continued efforts--though she puts up with a great deal. They ideally want her to marry Mr. Brand. They think he's suited to this difficult task of fixing Gertrude. But Gertrude doesn't want to be fixed: she wants to be free to be herself, free to think her own thoughts. Felix is the first person, I gather, that accepts Gertrude for Gertrude, and finds her a wonderful WONDER. He doesn't feel the need--at least before the marriage vows--to put Gertrude in a box. I definitely liked Felix. I would never assume that Felix is a perfect person, that he's an ideal hero. But. I do think Gertrude's chances of happiness are greater paired with Felix than with Mr. Brand. My thoughts: This was a quick read. I think the characters were purposefully kept distant from the reader. It is less melodramatic and emotional than The American definitely!!!

  • Reesha
    2019-03-13 21:11

    It was a fun quick read. A simple story. I liked how H. James explained the personality traits of so many characters in such a simple yet fun way. "The Americans" in this novella seem a lot like people from Pakistan; not very willing to have fun. (Henry James explains it much better in the book, than I am doing here.)First book done for Booktube-a-thon 2017!