Henry James: The Pupil

(1840 words)
  • Neil Chilton (University of Bristol)

A tender, poignant, often darkly humorous story of a young tutor’s relationship with the remarkable child of a disreputable family, Henry James’s “The Pupil” was rejected for publication by the first editor to whom its author sent it. Horace Scudder of the Atlantic Monthly had written to James in the summer of 1890 inviting him to send the magazine some new short stories; however, “The Pupil”, the first of these pieces, composed during August and September of that year, was felt by Scudder to be “lacking in interest, in precision and in effectiveness”, this unexpected rejection giving James, he declared in his reply of 10 November, “the shock of a perfectly honest surprise” (Monteiro, p. 79, cited in Horne,…

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Chilton, Neil. "The Pupil". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 28 December 2009
[http://www.litencyc.com/php/sworks.php?rec=true&UID=20115, accessed 01 October 2016.]