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James’s friendship with Constance Fenimore Woolson ended in 1894 when he tried to drown a boatload of her dresses in the Venetian lagoon; she had fallen to her death three months before. It was an elusive friendship that echoed his mysterious relationship with Minny Temple who had died twenty years earlier. From their graves, these two women haunted his imagination and his fiction, inspiring the creation of his heroines.

Reviews

'Wonderfully full-blooded . . . A brilliant idea . . . superbly enjoyable material, much of it unfamiliar, all of it stimulating'
Philip Horne, Guardian
Wonderfully full-blooded . . . A brilliant idea . . . superbly enjoyable material, much of it unfamiliar, all of it stimulating
Philip Horne, Guardian
'Gordon's approach to biography is imaginative and risky . . . The result is a magnificent, important book, which points the way forward for the whole biographical genre'
Kathryn Hughes, Literary Review
Gordon's approach to biography is imaginative and risky . . . The result is a magnificent, important book, which points the way forward for the whole biographical genre
Kathryn Hughes, Literary Review
'A rich book in which it is a pleasure to become absorbed'
Claire Tomalin, Independent on Sunday
'Compelling . . . not an addition to the pile of "chronicle" biographies of Henry James . . . [The opening] is unforgettable, like a scene from a film . . . [This book] combines scholarly rigour with a nice line in nineteenth-century gothic'
Victoria Glendinning, Daily Telegraph
Compelling . . . not an addition to the pile of "chronicle" biographies of Henry James . . . [The opening] is unforgettable, like a scene from a film . . . [This book] combines scholarly rigour with a nice line in nineteenth-century gothic
Victoria Glendinning, Daily Telegraph
A rich book in which it is a pleasure to become absorbed
Claire Tomalin, Independent on Sunday