James, Henry (1843–1916) By Weihl, Harrington
One of the major literary figures of the late nineteenth and early twentieth century, Henry James was one of the foremost English-language practitioners of literary realism at its height, and was one of the most influential novelists among the modernists that followed him, receiving praise and admiration from T. S. Eliot, Ezra Pound, Virginia Woolf, Joseph Conrad, and others. His novel Portrait of A Lady and novellas Daisy Miller and The Turn of the Screw are among his most widely read, and in The Spoils of Poynton he made some of the first forays into the complexity and depth that would later characterize modernism. Also an accomplished travel writer and memoirist, James's produced literary criticism that is considered some of the deepest and most detailed work on theorizing the English-language novel before the twentieth century. Born in the United States and spending much of his adult life in Britain, James is a transatlantic figure whose influence has been so great as to posthumously justify his nickname of Master.