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(-: The Henry James E-Journal :-)Number 12
August 12, 2007
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Cityscapes - A Re-reading of Henry James' The Ambassadors
by Dr. Biljana Dojcinovic Nesic
Faculty of Philology, University of Belgrade
Department for Comparative Literature and Theory of Literature
Originally published as "Cityscapes - A Rereading of Henry James' The Ambassadors," International Conference ELLSII 75 to Mark 75th Anniversary of the English Department, University of Belgrade, Faculty of Philology, Proceedings, Vol.3, ed. by Zoran Paunovic, Katarina Rasulic and Ivana Trbojevic, pp. 298-298. UDC 821.11 (73).09
Starting from Elizabeth Grosz' view of the relation between the city and the body as "a two-way linkage that could be defined as an interface," I will try to re-read the meaning of cities in James' novel The Ambassadors. The difference between scenery and site as well as the relation of city and landscape are introduced and explained. All these elements are seen in the light of the James technique, aimed at presenting inner transformation from the hero's own point of view, which takes us to the very site of the process.
The theoretical and critical premises of this paper are Elizabeth Grosz' concept of the relation between body and city, and a critical text by Richard Hathaway, "Ghosts at the Windows: Shadow and Corona in The Ambassadors." Elizabeth Grosz is one of the leading theoreticians of body, involved in the effort of rethinking the body as a socio-cultural artifact, trying to transform traditional notions of corporeality and oppositions within which body has usually been thought of. These oppositions are primarily body and mind, inside and outside, subject and object, self and other. Grosz is one of the theorists who understand bodies as loci of identities, crossroads of sexual, political, social and other influences. To emphasize the dynamic, multidimensional nature of these crossings, they think of bodies as productive sites.
In rethinking the relation between body and city Elizabeth Grosz goes beyond both the causal and representational concepts. The first one assumes, according to Grosz, that "the city is a reflection, projection, or product of bodies" (Grosz 1995: 105), while the second, representational view, suggests parallelism or isomorphism between body and city: "...the two are understood as analogues, congruent counterparts, in which the features, organization and characteristics of one are also reflected in the other" (Grosz 1995: 105). Grosz argues that these two models are inappropriate as both see one element preceding the other. She opts for a model which emphasises the mutual defining of bodies and cities. This model is "a two-way linkage that could be defined as an interface" (Grosz 1995: 108). In such a model, bodies and cities are not seen as "megalithic, total entities, but as assemblages or collections of parts, capable of crossing the thresholds between substances to form linkages..." (Grosz 1995: 108).
This concept of cities and bodies related in mutual, un-monolithic interaction, emphasizing their dynamic (lived experience) interchange, could be very important for understanding literature. Literature has always had the advantage of being able not only to tell (about something), but to show (it) (by telling), and James makes the most of that possibility in his novel The Ambassadors. Thus, speaking of body, it turns out that the novel depicts in detail the interfacing of the body and cities. On the other hand, this approach should enable us to sense the subdued sensuality which permeates the novel.
The Ambassadors tells a story about Lambert Strether, a 55 year old American intellectual, coming to Europe. His task is to bring back home, to Woollett, a city in Massachusetts, the son of his fiancée. Once in Paris, Strether realizes that the woman who is "keeping" Chad there is not a "wicked" one, but more than admirable. He reaches the conclusion that Chad must not return to New England and leave this exquisite lady. By then, however, the young man seems to be quite ready to go back home and take up the family business. Strether leaves Paris for the States, deeply, completely changed by the European experience.
The novel is told from Strether's perspective, so that everything is his projection and part of his character. The (almost) single perspective, sustained throughout the novel, makes the story a drama of Strether's gradual transformation from a stern Puritan into a man relaxed among the sites of beauty and pleasures. At the end, nothing is certain for him, except that feeling of future incompleteness, the longing he accepts to live with.
In this drama of refined transformation, cities have a special role. In a century-long reception of the novel, there have been many efforts to describe their function as representational or causal (in Grosz' sense). Chester, London and especially Paris, have been read as metaphors and/or symbols. Grosz' concept of the "two-way linkage" seems to offer the vocabulary which takes us beyond these notions, into the very center of the live interchange between cities and bodies.
But, which bodies? Where are these bodies in The Ambassadors, and what do we speak about when we speak of "the body"? The answer is that "the body" is where the mind is, and in this novel Strether's mind is not just everywhere, it is everything. The novel is a drama of Strether's identity, a highly ambitious project of presenting the very process of his gradual change, dynamics of staying himself and becoming different. In the process he has to bridge many gaps. Richard Hathaway discovers in James' novel a whole range of
thematic oppositions or polarities...: the stated/the withheld, light/shadow, sound/silence, innocence/experience, America/Europe, nature/art, past/present, fullness/emptiness, substantialness/insubstantialness, floating/sinking, actuality/appearance, security/insecurity, identity/non-identity, presence/absence. (Hathaway 2000 See endnote 1)
In view of these polarities, Hathaway offers a way of reading this book: "...we must do as Strether did: we must float with, not fight, the flow; we must relax into the tensions of opposites... .accept a multiplicity that cannot always be resolved into a simplicity" (Hathaway 2000) What Hathaway's text points to is the difference between the New World, obsessed by sharp lines and belief in "objective reality"--"Boston's 'reallys'" (see endnote 2)--, and the Old World, "ectoplasmic" Europe (see endnote 3) of blurred boundaries.
Both these worlds are present in the novel as cityscapes, the term used here primarily in one of the meanings Grosz employs--the city in all its cultural, historical, geographical, ergonomic, political dimensions. Grosz says that, among other things, "the city helps to...orient and organize familial, sexual, and social relations insofar as the city, as much as the state, divides cultural life into public and private domain, geographically dividing and defining the particular social positions individuals and groups occupy" (Grosz 1995: 109). While Woollett is merely a designation of what Waymarsh, the Pococks and, in the beginning, Strether, are, the European cities--Chester, London and especially Paris--are presented as the agents of transformation.
The term cityscapes is also used as an opposition between city and landscape which, at important moments of the novel, the hero needs to accept as "multiplicity." Cityscapes are also sights of a city; as well as panoramic views of a city, that is, a city as seen from far away. There are two important meanings in The Ambassadors connected to the last definition. The first one can refer to Woollett, the city the "ambassadors" come from. That city hovers above Strether and other characters. Boston is present in the novel in a similar way, as a capital of morality, tradition and objective reality of the New World. The other, more archetypal meaning of a city, seen from a distance, could be a vision of a city as seen from the desert. Cities--the places of sedentary lives, in contrast to the desert of nomadic tribes--refer here to the very inner life of the hero: there is "the grey middle desert of the two deaths" (James 1994: 35) within Strether's life. Thus, the hero of the novel returns to the great city of his early hopes, trying to map his past and is, through this effort, changing himself.
The most important meaning of the term cityscapes is based on the difference from mere settings, which represent or metaphorically speak of a character. Cityscapes are also different from sceneries, which could be defined as pre-arranged settings, such as theatrical scenes, landscapes, gardens, parks. The cityscapes are these places of a city in which the knots of personal and private, history and future meet without resolving into simplicity. These are sites of a live exchange between the heroes and the environment, the interfaces. While settings, in their common meaning, express the hero's character or intentions, sites produce and are produced by the hero. In The Ambassadors, settings and sceneries become sites due to the narrative technique employed, using Strether's perspective as the exclusive one.
Coming to rescue the young man, Strether notes the first traces of the French lady, Marie de Vionnet, in transformed Chad. The ordinary young American has become in Paris "a man of the World. "... /J/udge her only in Chad" (James 1994: 111), advises the wise Maria Gostrey. And the judgement becomes astonishment. Strether is at first so charmed by Chad's new looks and manners that he needs to touch him, to make sure he is real. A comparison of Grosz' definition of the body to Strether's astonishment at Chad's change could be very illustrative. Elizabeth Grosz understands body as "concrete, material, animate organization of flesh, organs, nerves, and skeletal structure, which are given a unity, cohesiveness, and form through the psychical and social inscription of the body's surface" (Grosz 1995: 1995, 104). Strether "judges" the transformation as, at least, detailed: "The effect of it was general...It had cleared his eyes and settled his colour and polished his fine square teeth...and at the same time that it had given him a form and a surface, almost a design, it had toned his voice..." (James 1994: 98). Chad has been through a process which seems to have deeply redesigned him, inscribing the difference deeper than the surface.
Strether understands in a moment that this thing "was perhaps a speciality of Paris" (James 1994: 97). If body is, as Grosz points out "organically, biologically 'incomplete';...indeterminate, amorphous, a series of uncoordinated potentialities that require social triggering, ordering, and long-term 'administration'" (Grosz 1995: 104), Chad has been through a succesful "administration" and is now better than it was "really meant by nature," as Little Bilham says, comparing the new Chad to a "new edition of an old book" (James 1994: 115). Chad's improved appearance--this new edition of his body--is both a foreboding of what is going to happen to Strether himself, and one of the reasons for his change. This city is for Strether--and by virtue of the technique, for us--the sensuous, lived experience. Paris can be heard (as "the vague voice"), seen, tasted: "...the Paris evening in short was, for Strether, in the very taste of the soup, in the goodness...of the wine, in the pleasant coarse texture of the napkin and the crunch of the thick-crusted bread" (James 1994: 68). Paris is also both place and time for idleness: "They walked, wandered, wondered and, a little, lost themselves; Strether hadn't had for years so rich a consciousness of time--a bag of gold into which he constantly dipped for a handful" (James 1994: 73). It is also a treasure box of the past which does not simply reappear, but exists simultaneously in this cityscape, especially in Madame de Vionnet's apartment: "His hostess was dressed as for thunderous times...in simplest coolest white, of a character so old-fashioned, if he were not mistaken, that Madame Roland must on the scaffold have worn something like it" (James 1994: 361).
The city is alive, moving, crawling, penetrating even into the Pococks' hotel room: "...the far-spreading presence of Paris came up in coolness, dimness and invitation..." (James 1994: 245). Strether walks through Paris, "giving himself up to the town and to his thoughts" (James 1994: 209), making revelations about the city and, mostly, himself. Close to the end, he enters the Post-Office and feels the very pulse of the city there--"the something in the air of these establishments; the vibration of the vast strange life of the town, the influence of the types, the performers concocting their messages" (James 1994: 358). He sees Paris as if he were a foreigner becoming its citizen, as someone devouring it and being devoured by the city, and enjoying it. "He was mixed up with the typical tale of Paris, and so were they, poor things--how could they altogether help being?" (James 1994: 358). He has already experienced pleasure as pain while sitting alone in Chad's apartment, in the "witching hour." Surrounded by "the night...hot and heavy," dipped in the "great flare of the lighted city," he invokes "the spirit of the place," blurring the boundaries between himself and Chad, "with a relish quite so like a pang" (James 1994: 317). As Paris has always been of multiple identities, he accepts his own self as many selves, existing both in the past and the present.
Cityscapes also resolve the oppositions of a city and a landscape, being an inseparable mixture of these elements. There cannot be a "pure" landscape for someone who is a part of a city, as there is no city without a landscape within, if that someone is to reach any deeper knowledge about one's self. The scenes in Gloriani's garden clearly point out that there is a bond, the interface of a landscape and a city. Gloriani's garden is in the suburb of Saint-Germain, on the outskirts of the city, secluded and tucked in among other gardens. It is neither at the city's core, nor in the landscape; on the other hand, leaning on other gardens, it contains within itself history, tradition and a clear social connotation of wealth, the past and present. For Strether, it is another surprising trait of the mysterious city, giving him "the note of the range of the immeasurable town and sweeping away, as by a last brave brush, his usual landmarks and terms" (James 1994: 125).
Like a double-bottomed box, it is a space for secrets to be kept in, or revealed. What are his secrets? He "reads" Gloriani's face, which is to him "like an open letter in a foreign tongue," and recognizes that every line on the face "was an artist's own" (James: 1994 126). Strether opens up to this message of a life deeply inscribed upon the sculptor's face and finds "the sun of a clime not marked in his old geography" warming his "rather grey interior" (James 1994: 126). It is the waste land, the desert, within Strether himself changing its colors, beginning to stir. Strether will have to re-map his own life soon. Another great "sculptor" he will see is Madame de Vionnet, the "administrator" of Chad's transformation. In the visions of the "great world" in the garden that follow these two encounters and his sudden outbreak in front of Little Bilham, Strether senses "something tigerish," "a waft from the jungle," and sees Gloriani as a "glossy male tiger." Strether himself experiences these images as "absurdities of the stirred sense" (James 1994: 141). He resolves the oppositions of the living and not-living, the waste land of his life and the green jungle of others' lives, producing his own meaning for himself and the young man beside him. At the moment of the outburst, Strether is perfectly safe--settled in the garden as liminal space between a landscape and the city, he is touched by the relaxed atmosphere, among people perfectly uninterested in him, except for the young man he makes the heir of his revelation (see endnote 4). For he offers him the greatest secret of his own life, hidden deep under the desert sand, now stirred--to live and enjoy before it is too late, as it is late for himself!
Strether is aware at the very beginning of the visit that Chad might have carefully prepared everything, that he is "nursing his effect." The garden is thus for Strether meant to be a scenery disguised as setting, but in the course of the afternoon it becomes a site, the place interfacing with Strether's body and mind. Or, as James emphasizes in his Preface,"The idea of the tale resides indeed in the very fact that an hour of such unprecedented ease should have been felt by him as a crisis..." (James 1972: 45). The crisis is a symptom of change, of the meaning reappearing on the surface, produced again at the very site of Strether's self.
The next intermingling of the landscape and the city happens on a summer day, when Strether travels out of Paris. He is looking for a perfect scenery, a landscape like the Lambinet painting he had seen in Boston. That memory is already a rupture in the pastoral scenery around him, as he remembers that he "had been offered,...at a price he had been instructed to believe the lowest ever named for a Lambinet, a price he had never felt so poor as on having to recognize, all the same, as beyond a dream of possibility" (James 1994: 341). The Lambinet is thus not only a frame through which he can recognize natural beauty, it is a mark of his position within a city, an intimate memory of his social inability. It is significant that the only time Strether thought of himself as poor was the moment in which he realized he could not afford a work of art.
In that idyllic scenery the encounter with Marie de Vionnet and Chad happens almost "by his will," by his wish to have figures in the landscape. He sees a boat on the river--"it was suddenly as if these figures, or something like them, had been wanted in the picture, had been wanted more or less all day, and had now drifted into sight, with the slow current, on purpose to fill up the measure" (James 1994: 348-9). Whose measure? As everything in the novel, the measure is Strether's, and the knowledge of the "true nature of the relation" between Marie de Vionnet and Chad will be measured only by him. The "real nature" of Chad's "virtuous attachment," the erotic and sexual side of Chad's education, "administration," is still a surprise for Strether. Soon, however, that "Fall in the Garden" becomes for Strether only one more dimension of Madame de Vionnet. His acceptance of it is, in return, one more dimension of himself. The scenery is turned into a site, a place where the meanings and growth are produced.
This landscape as a site is, by the agency of the human figures, infected and defined by the rules of the city. Strether is at the end glad that they all followed the conventions, although the scene has the tone of a vaudeville. The Lambinet, that is, a landscape, can never be without its city's frame, be it Strether's reminiscences on his social position, or the rules brought in by the humans who disobeyed them.
The meaning produced for Strether at this landscape/site reminds us of his first real European lesson of the journey, which took place in London. It was a lesson in the art of pleasure and enjoyment, dispensed by means of eroticization. Before going to the theatre, he has dinner with Maria Gostrey. He is enchanted by the ambience, smells, and her "cut down" dress. And especially by a red velvet band around her throat with an antique jewel attached to its front. Realizing that he is for the first time having dinner with a woman in a public place, Strether submits to this unusual mixture of unstable boundaries between private and public: "face to face over a small table on which the lighted candles had rose-coloured shades" (James 1994: 33). This is a lesson in the eroticism of the unseen, fragrances, colors (red), material (soft, warm and expensive velvet). The band around Maria Gostrey's neck especially inspires Strether's perception and challenges his ability of articulation: "What, certainly, had a man conscious of a man's work in the world to do with red velvet bands?" (James 1994: 34). What else but let himself be seduced! It is a seduction in promising what cannot be fulfilled, foreboding the fruits of Strether's European journey. How is he otherwise to bridge those gaps between mind and body, his consciousness and Maria's smile, complexion, lips, teeth, hair; between pieces of his own life and between Europe and America, its cultures and traditions. Maria Gostrey, the one who "knows" in this novel, makes her crucial comment and guidance here by her appearance, the whole body. Strether stretches her argument further, in historical, geographical, cultural realms, and makes finally the only possible answer--opens himself for the transformation. History enters here, as a possibility to compare Gostrey to Mary Stuart, opening a wide network of motifs--red band around a neck suggesting blood, scaffolds, Revolutions--all that will appear in his thoughts while sitting in Madame de Vionnet's apartment. Maria Gostrey's red ribbon links her not only to Mary Stuart, but more so to the visions of the tigers in Gloriani's garden, the subdued sensuality beneath the surface which permeates the novel as a whole.
Strether's revelation turns the city, London, into one of the sites of the novel, into a multidimensional place. It is not a city as a flat surface in the almost comical statement by Waymarsh "Oh I've been down to London!" (James 1994: 24). The lesson received in London cannot be repeated in Paris, no matter how much Strether wants that, at least not with Maria Gostrey. Maria, who introduces herself as "superior 'courier-maid'" is both an emissary, a messenger--angelos in the original, Greek meaning of the word--and a wise woman, "the very deuce." She is the knowing one, introducing Strether to the knowledge of Europe, which is going to end up in desire. Strether has already pleaded with her for help in Chester: "I'm always considering something else; something else, I mean, than the thing of the moment....Make it then impossible" (James 1994: 16). What he wanted this angel/devil to do for him is to help him integrate his wandering mind and his body. It has its tragic dimension in the guilt for his son's death, for which he blames his "absent-mindedness," and is a good motivation for the novel told from his point of view. The desirable and unreachable uniqueness is actually the deciding factor in making this the story of a re-integrated self.
There is an interesting aspect of the heroine as one of the technical features of the novel. Gostrey is, according to James, not only and primarily Strether's friend, but the "'reader's friend' much rather--in consequence of dispositions that make him so eminently require one" (James 1972: 53). She is, according to James, a device, ficelle, borrowed from drama, and this is where her knowledge originates. James was searching for the most drama-like way of presenting the change which happens within his hero "almost from hour to hour" (James 1972: 49). He chose Strether's perspective as the standpoint of his invisible narrator. Because Strether could neither know nor understand what is going on around him, readers need to have an additional source of commentary and information. Deprived of the voice of the auctorial narrator we are guided by its kin, and the intrusive, often ironical voice of the former has been replaced by this seductively embodied figure of ficelle.
Maria Gostrey is also the second of three women taking part in Strether's metamorphosis. The first one is the invisible, absent/omnipresent Mrs. Newsome of the New World, "lady of Woollett," who, like a queen, sends her ambassadors to Europe. As Strether notices, faced with Maria Gostrey's seductive appearance, Mrs. Newsome's dress was never in any degree "cut down," it was black and "she looked, with her ruff and other matters, like Queen Elizabeth" (James 1994: 34). Mrs. Newsome is in her city, Woollett, representing that New/some Continent and its belief in the sharp boundaries between good and bad, dark and light, moral and immoral. Everything she stands for produces its own opposition. Mrs. Newsome is not only the one who despatches Strether as her own replacement, she becomes his point of departure, the reference of his change. Maria interprets Strether's situation for him: "if your friend had come she would take great views, and the great views, to put it simply, would be too much for her" (James 1994: 39). Only Strether, judges Maria, could be the one to "save" Chad.
What Maria sees already is that Strether is fine enough to understand and embrace the instability of liminal places, to be open toward change and multiplicity. The process of change has begun already in the hotel room in Chester, "before the dressing-glass that struck him as blocking further, so strangely, the dimness of the window of his dull bedroom; begun with a sharper survey of the elements of Appearance than he had for a long time been moved to make" (James 1994: 9). Standing in front of "a perhaps Hawthornian mirror," he is about to step behind it, into a "world where nothing adds up; everything multiplies and divides--images, meanings, truths, identities" (Hathaway 2000). Strether is here getting ready for the Europe of blurred boundaries, the sfumato of European aest/ethicity. He is there, in his first contact with the Old Continent, already beginning to change--he feels himself disconnected from his past, and as made of "elements" which will in the end result in quite a different wholeness. Soon, he will be ready for Paris.
The third woman who takes part in Strether's transformation is Madame de Vionnet, the glorious lady he meets in Gloriani's garden. Like Paris, Marie de Vionnet is multidimensional. She is not the only linkage between Strether's mind and Paris, but she is certainly the most important one. It is the city where he once was and is young--again. Like Paris, Marie de Vionnet "has such variety and yet such harmony," dressing herself in various colors and nuances, embodying history, sorrow and pleasure. Sitting in the Luxemburg Garden on his second day in the city, he thinks of Paris as a "vast bright Babylon...a jewel brilliant and hard," an enigmatic city where "what seemed all surface one moment seemed all depth the next" (James 1994: 59). Unlike Waymarsh, and Sarah Pocock later, Strether does not flatter himself that he "knows" Paris. He is aware of the multidimensionality of this cityscape. He names it "Babylon," thus connecting it to the supposed wickedness of Chad's lover. When Strether meets her in Gloriani's garden, she is dressed in black that seems transparent, and he has a vague impression, "only perhaps a sense of the clink, beneath her fine black sleeves, of more gold bracelets and bangles than he had ever seen a lady wear" (James 1994: 135). The gold, the clink, the bracelets and bangles are distant sounds of Babylon, East, otherness. From that moment on, however, Strether will be learning about that woman in terms of multiple identities, as a person who "had aspects, characters, days, nights." The only conclusion could be that "/s/he was an obscure person, a muffled person one day, and a showy person, an uncovered person the next" (James 1994: 173). Miss Barrace sums it up by saying that Madame de Vionnet is "various" and "fifty women." Her variety is not only in the roles she can play--mother, lover, almost a young girl, nymph--and dresses she changes accordingly--transparent black, a dress with nuances of water, matching emerald necklace around her neck, dresses fit for church and for a visit to Sarah Pocock's hotel room. She is a crossroads of present and past, history and myth. Strether sees her as a sea-nymph, Cleopatra and Madame Roland facing the scaffold. Most of these historical parallels are inspired by her apartment which is so different from Gostrey's "little museum of bargains"--it is the part of her identity which comprises so many dimensions. It is there that Strether prefers to have the final meeting with her, to step into the realms of past and present--the Revolution, pain and hopeless love, all at once. Hathaway brings to it one more dimension, a spectral one. "As Marie moves 'over her great room', she is literally and figuratively a double image," and "Strether is assaulted, ever so delicately, so richly, so quietly, by lights and shadows, by images and ghosts" (Hathaway 2000). Ghosts and spectral selves of history and myth end up in tears of a woman-to-be-abandoned. Madame de Vionnet is like "a maidservant crying for her young man" (James 1994: 368), uniting and rejecting at that moment all her other aspects.
Madame de Vionnet 's beauty is at the end recognized as "the basis" of Strether's staying in Paris, and it is obvious that this beauty has many "elements," many aspects, which bring out various personalities at different moments. Marie de Vionnet charms Strether by her ability to inspire in him new perceptions and meanings. She is for him Paris itself (just as Mrs. Newsome is Woollett), embodying both present and past, beauty and danger, all the variety of a great city. It is her body, the "fifty women" in her, her various identities, that sustain Strether's curiosity and desire. Seeing her at first as a source of Chad's transformation, Strether is at the end himself transformed by her and the city of Paris. This process of "interfacing" leads Strether to become aest/ethical, become complete.
But this is left for Maria Gostrey to judge. In a novel obsessed by knowledge and the ways of presenting and witholding information, Maria Gostrey's knowledge about Strether makes her understand him, feel compassion for him and love him. She is thus the one to announce to him his integration, his gain among the losses, to tell him "You're complete" (James 1994: 377). Unsure what and where his home really is, with his pains brought back, desire for life awakened and impossible to fulfill, Strether is going back to "a great difference" (James 1994: 392), and therefore, he can be only that--complete.
1. As the quotations are from an electronic edition of the text, there are no page numbers.
2. As Miss Barrace puts it: "Oh I like your Boston 'reallys'!" (James 1994: 133).
3. "America is solid; it is also thin. Europe is thick; it is also ectoplasmic." (Hathaway 2000).
4. Later, Strether will promise Little Bilham to make him his literal, formal heir, too.
Grosz, Elizabeth (1995) "Bodies-Cities." In: Space, Time and Perversion. New York and London: Routledge, 103-110.
Hathaway, Richard (2000) "Ghosts at the Windows: Shadow and Corona in The Ambassadors." In: The Henry James E-Journal , Number 3, August 8, 2000 (www.newpaltz.edu/~hathawar/ghosts.html).
James, Henry (1994) The Ambassadors. Penguin Classics.
James, Henry. Preface to The Ambassadors (1909). In: 20th Century Literary Criticism, A Reader. (ed. by David Lodge) London: Longman. 1972, 44-56.