Personalities | Henry James | Modern Era | Opera
The most influential American writer of the nineteenth century, James was known for a style that brimmed with psychological study and character analysis. Not too surprising, then, that his father was a writer of philosophy, while his brother was considered among the most important philosophers of his day.
After attending Harvard Law School for a brief spell, James chose literature as a career and subsequently wrote 112 stories, 20 novels, 12 plays and several works of literary criticism. His much acclaimed novella The Turn of the Screw (1898) came to the attention of Benjamin Britten during the early 1950s and was produced as an opera in 1954. Additionally, another short story, Owen Wingrave (1893), which James would later turn into a one-act play, was initially set to music by Britten and produced as a television opera. A dedicated anglophile, James became a British citizen in 1915, having made his home in Rye, Sussex, many years earlier. It was there that he died.
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