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James, Henry - Collected Travel Writings: The Continent

Henry James

Collected Travel Writings: The Continent

A Little Tour in FranceItalian Hours • Other Travels

"Few writing markets have expanded so dramatically as that of the travel guide. There are books in the hundreds ready to tell you where to eat, shop, sleep and be seen. I defy you to name any which will provide better company than these two have given me for the last fortnight. And yet the last piece was written in 1912 and the first in the 1860s...."
—Los Angeles Times Book Review
Overview  |  Note on the Texts  |  Reviews  |  Table of Contents

Throughout his life Henry James wrote about the places he visited. This volume prints, in the last versions revised by him, all of his travel writings about the Continent. Most of these writings appeared first in periodical form; many of them were later revised for book publication, and some appeared in more than one book version.

A Little Tour in France first appeared in the Atlantic Monthly (under the title En Provence) in the July-November 1883, February, and April-May 1884 numbers. James had used "A Little Tour in France" as the title of an unrelated 1878 article in the Atlantic but when he prepared that article for inclusion in Portraits and Places late in 1883 he retitled it "Rheims and Laon: A Little Tour" and could thus use the earlier title for his book. James extensively revised the serial version before the book was published in Boston by James R. Osgood and Company, September 1884 (the title page is dated 1885). In 1900, in preparation for publication of an illustrated edition of A Little Tour in France, James added a new preface, rewrote the "Introductory" and again made numerous revisions in wording and punctuation. The American edition was published by Houghton, Mifflin and Company in Boston and the English edition by William Heinemann in London, both in late October 1900. Because the English edition follows more closely James's own preferences for British spelling and light punctuation, this volume prints the text of the Heinemann edition.

Italian Hours, published on October 28, 1909, by William Heinemann in London and on November 28, 1909, by Houghton Mifflin Company in Boston, contains two essays not published elsewhere, and twenty previously published essays, eighteen of which had also appeared in earlier books. James carefully and often extensively revised and, in a few instances, expanded these essays from their earlier published versions in order to create a more consistent whole. The first essay, "Venice" (originally published in Century Magazine, Nov. 1882), had appeared in Portraits of Places (Boston, 1883). "The Grand Canal" (originally in Scribner's Magazine, Nov. 1892) had appeared in Great Streets of the World (New York and London, 1892). "Venice: An Early Impression" (originally in The Nation, March 6, 1873, under the title "A European Summer. VII. From Venice to Strasburg") had appeared as "From Venice to Strasburg" in Transatlantic Sketches (Boston, 1875) and, in slightly revised form, in Foreign Parts (Leipzig, 1883). "Two Old Houses and Three Young Women" (The Independent, Sept. 7, 1899) and "Casa Alvisi" (Cornhill Magazine, as part of "Browning in Venice. Being Recollections by the Late Mrs. Katharine De Kay Bronson, with a Prefatory Note by Henry James" and as a separate essay in The Critic under the title "The Late Mrs. Arthur Bronson," both published in Feb. 1902) had not been previously published in book form. The next two essays had appeared in Transatlantic Sketches (Boston, 1875) and in slightly revised form in Foreign Parts (Leipzig, 1883): "From Chambııry to Milan" (originally in The Nation, Nov. 21, 1872, with a general heading "A European Summer. VI.") and "The Old Saint-Gothard" (published in The Galaxy, April 1874, as "An Autumn Journey" and in Transatlantic Sketches as "The St. Gothard"). "Italy Revisited" (originally in the Atlantic Monthly, April-May 1878, in two parts: "Italy Revisited" and "Recent Florence") had appeared in Portraits of Places (Boston, 1883). The next five essays had appeared in Transatlantic Sketches and (with the exception of "The After-Season in Rome") in slightly revised form in Foreign Parts (Leipzig, 1883) after being published in periodicals: "A Roman Holiday," Atlantic Monthly, July 1873; "Roman Rides," Atlantic Monthly, August 1873; "Roman Neighbourhoods," Atlantic Monthly, December 1873; "The After-Season in Rome," The Nation, June 12, 1873 (with the title "The After-Season at Rome"); "From a Roman Note-Book," The Galaxy, November 1873. "A Few Other Roman Neighbourhoods" is one of the two essays previously unpublished. The next five essays had also appeared in Transatlantic Sketches and in slightly revised form in Foreign Parts after being published in periodicals: "A Chain of Cities," Atlantic Monthly, February 1874 (as "A Chain of Italian Cities"); "Siena Early and Late," Part I, in Atlantic Monthly, June 1874 (as "Siena"; Part II was written for Italian Hours in 1909); "The Autumn in Florence," The Nation, January 1, 1874; "Florentine Notes," which had appeared in The Independent, April 23-July 9, 1874, in eight parts--Part I, April 30, Part II, April 23, Part III, May 21, Part IV (titled "Old Italian Art"), June 11, Part V (titled "Florentine Architecture"), June 18, Part VI (titled "An Italian Convent"), July 2, Part VII (titled "The Churches of Florence"), July 9, Part VIII (titled "A Florentine Garden"), May 14; and "Tuscan Cities," The Nation, May 21, 1874. "Other Tuscan Cities" is the second previously unpublished essay. "Ravenna" (originally published in The Nation, July 9, 1874) had appeared in Transatlantic Sketches and Foreign Parts. "The Saint's Afternoon and Others" was first published as "The Saint's Afternoon" in The May Book, compiled by Eliza Davis Aria "in the aid of Charing Cross Hospital" and published in London by Macmillan and Company, May 1901. Parts VI and VII appeared for the first time in Italian Hours. Because the English edition is more faithful to James's preference for British spelling and light use of commas, the text and illustrations (with the exception of the colored plates) printed in this volume are those of the Heinemann edition. The errata listed, correcting "fact," to "fact" (336.25) and "continue," to "continue" (354.8), have been inserted into the text of the present volume.

"Other Travels" includes fifteen essays, the first six of which appeared in James's first book of travel writings, Transatlantic Sketches, published by James R. Osgood and Company in 1875. James further revised five of the essays for inclusion in Foreign Parts, published by Bernhard Tauchnitz in Leipzig in 1883 ("The Splııgen" was omitted from that collection). All six of the essays had first appeared in periodical form: "Swiss Notes," The Nation, September 19, 1872; "Homburg Reformed," The Nation, August 28, 1873; "Darmstadt," The Nation, October 9, 1873 (titled "An Ex-Grand-Ducal Capital"); "The Splııgen," The Independent, August 20 and 27, 1874 (titled "A Northward Journey"); "In Holland," The Nation, August 27, 1874; and "In Belgium," The Nation, September 5, 1874. The next six essays were revised by James to appear in Portraits of Places, published in London by Macmillan and Company in 1883 (the American edition, published in Boston by James R. Osgood and Company in 1884, used the Macmillan plates). All six of these essays had appeared earlier in periodical form: "Chartres," New-York Tribune, April 9, 1876 (titled "Chartres Portrayed"); "Rouen," New-York Tribune, July 22, 1876 (titled "Summer in France"); "Etretat," New-York Tribune, August 4, 1876 (titled "A French Watering Place"); "From Normandy to the Pyrenees," The Galaxy, January 1877; "Occasional Paris," The Galaxy, January 1878 (titled "Paris Revisited"); and "Rheims and Laon: A Little Tour," Atlantic Monthly, January 1878 (titled "A Little Tour in France") . The text of "Very Modern Rome" printed here is a clear text of that printed in The Harvard Library Bulletin, volume 8, no. 2, Spring 1954, edited by Richard C. Harrier, from a holograph manuscript he had located in the Harvard College Library. The text of "The American Volunteer Motor-Ambulance Corps in France: A Letter to the Editor of an American Journal" printed here is from the version published in London by Macmillan and Company, December 15, 1914 (an abbreviated version titled "Famous Novelist Describes Deeds of U.S. Motor Corps," was published in the New York World, Jan. 4, 1915). The text of "France" printed here is from The Book of France in Aid of the French Parliamentary Committee's Fund for the Relief of the Invaded Departments, edited by Winifred Stephens, and published by Macmillan and Company in London on July 14, 1915.

This volume presents the texts of the printings chosen for inclusion here, but it does not attempt to reproduce features of their typographic design, such as the display capitalization of chapter Openings. The illustrations to the captions "Toulouse: St. Sernin (the Transept)" and "Arles: St. Trophimus," on pages 155 and 213, transposed in the Heinemann edition of A Little Tour in France, are placed correctly in this volume. The texts are reproduced without change except for the correction of typographical errors. Spelling, punctuation, and capitalization often are expressive features and they are not altered, even when inconsistent or irregular.

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