Italian Hours consists of essays (individual titles are given following quotations) that express James's responses to Italy over a period from 1870 to 1908. Most of them were originally published in American journals. Collected in book form in 1909, the title, echoing the author's earlier English Hours (1905), has devotional associations with the “hours” or prayers of Catholic ritual and the medieval illuminated Books of Hours, thus suggesting a religious intensity of aesthetic response, as John Auchard has noted in his Penguin edition of the text. The emphasis on time is also indicative of the author's long acquaintance with the country during the political and cultural changes that followed the 1870 unification …
Righelato, Pat. "Italian Hours". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 20 October 2006; last revised 30 November -1.
[http://www.litencyc.com/php/sworks.php?rec=true&UID=20111, accessed 21 April 2015.]