WASHINGTON SQUARE. Henry James.

WASHINGTON SQUARE.

Illustrated by George du Maurier. New York: Harper & Brothers, 1881. 6 pp undated ads. Original dark olive cloth pictorially decorated in brown and gilt.

First Edition, published actually in December 1880, a month before the two-volume London edition that included two additional pieces. WASHINGTON SQUARE, a rare example of an illustrated James first edition, is a bleak story set in New York City about a girl victimized by the two men in her life (her father and her suitor -- her father threatening to disinherit her if she marries the penniless suitor, and the suitor interested in her only for her potential inheritance). She "survives" the predicament only by disavowing all emotion and affection in life. WASHINGTON SQUARE was filmed as "The Heiress" in 1949 (starring Olivia DeHaviland, Ralph Richardson and Montgomery Clift), and with its original title in 1997 (starring Albert Finney and Jennifer Jason Leigh).

This is a near-fine copy of this early James title -- with only a little of the usual rubbing of the extremities; the gilt panels remain quite bright, and the original endpapers remain intact.. WASHINGTON SQUARE is generally considered to be one of the handful of real James masterpieces. Supino 15.1.0; Edel & Laurence A15a. Item #14351

Price: $975.00

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