Henry James: The Beast in the Jungle

(1815 words)
  • Neil Chilton (University of Bristol)

On a visit with friends to a grand country house near London, a man sees a woman whom he recognizes from his past. At first he is unable to place her, but when they finally have an opportunity to talk, May Bartram reminds John Marcher that they met in Naples ten years earlier, through friends they held in common. Disappointed by the apparent meagreness of this shared history, and feeling that it has little to offer their present reunion, Marcher is about to take a reluctant leave of Miss Bartram when she reveals that in Italy he told her something that she has never forgotten and that has often caused her to think of him in the intervening years: “You said you had had from your earliest time, as the deepest thing within you, the sense …

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Chilton, Neil. "The Beast in the Jungle". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 25 November 2010
[http://www.litencyc.com/php/sworks.php?rec=true&UID=20114, accessed 27 September 2016.]