Henry James: The Sense of the Past

(2336 words)

The Sense of the Past was left uncompleted at James’s death in 1916. However, by then he had been working on the project in fits and starts over nearly two decades. He began work on the text in 1899, with the intention of writing a tale of some 50,000 words for Doubleday. However, as with The Sacred Fount, which James was writing at the same time, it quickly became obvious that the idea for the tale would outgrow the original word limit. He also found the time-travel theme of The Sense of the Past difficult to handle, and he put the text aside in August 1900 before he had completed Book Three. At this point he diverted his attention to plans for two new novels, these being The Ambassadors (…

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Hutchison, Hazel McNair. "The Sense of the Past". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 10 November 2006
[http://www.litencyc.com/php/sworks.php?rec=true&UID=7692, accessed 07 July 2015.]