Henry James: What Maisie Knew

(2088 words)

What Maisie Knew is one of James's most carefully planned novels. In 1892, at a dinner party, he heard about an unusual divorce settlement in which the child was not, as was customary, assigned to one parent, but was to alternate between them. James set down the anecdote in his notebook, detailing that both parents married again, bringing step-parents into the equation. He pondered further on the idea for a short story on this topic from time to time in his notebooks, deciding the child should be a girl. By December 1895 he was elaborating the symmetries for a story of ten thousand words. He finally began to write what was to become a novel of ninety thousand words in 1896. What Maisie Knew first appeared in serial …

Please log in to consult the article in its entirety. If you are a member (student of staff) of a subscribing institution (see List), you should be able to access the LE on campus directly (without the need to log in), and off-campus either via the institutional log in we offer, or via your institution's remote access facilities, or by creating a personal user account with your institutional email address. If you are not a member of a subscribing institution, you will need to purchase a personal subscription. For more information on how to subscribe as an individual user, please see under Individual Subcriptions.

Citation:
Righelato, Pat. "What Maisie Knew". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 28 May 2006
[http://www.litencyc.com/php/sworks.php?rec=true&UID=8734, accessed 05 August 2015.]