Inscribing Henry James

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Henry James and Queer Filiation: Hardened
Bachelors of the 
Edwardian Era
by Michael Anesko
Palgrave/MacMillan. 110 pages, $69.99

 

 

HENRY JAMES and Queer Filiationis sort of a sequel to Penn State professor Michael Anes-ko’s 2012 book, Monopolizing the Master, which is an account of how Henry James’ family tried to bowdlerize the Master’s letters after he died so that no one would think he might be homosexual.

         In this new book, the fear that James might be outed centers on a less likely object: the chiseled stone inscription memorializing him in Chelsea Old Church in London. The inscription reads: “In memory of henry james: o:m./ novelist/ born in new york 1843: died in/ chelsea 1916: lover & interpreter of the fine amenities/ of brave decisions & generous/ loyalties: a resident of this/ parish who renounced a/ cherished citizenship to give/ his allegiance to england in/ the 1st year of the great war.”

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