Henry James, The Aspern Papers

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The Aspern Papers

is a short novel of just under 100 pages, first published in three parts in the

Atlantic Monthly

(March to May, 1888) and in book form later the same year. Like many of Henry James’s works, it was revised for inclusion in the “definitive” collected New York Edition (and it appeared, with Preface duly added, in volume XII, 1908). Most modern publications of the work are based on the New York text.

The scene of The Aspern Papers is Venice, presumably in the 1880s. The nameless narrator is an American literary scholar who is passionately involved in work on a celebrated American poet of the Romantic period named Jeffrey Aspern. In the course of their researches, the narrator and his London collaborator, John Cumnor, have discovered that a mistress of Aspern’s, one

1659 words

Citation: Cornwell, Neil. "The Aspern Papers". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 17 January 2006 [https://www.litencyc.com/php/sworks.php?rec=true&UID=1559, accessed 22 June 2024.]

1559 The Aspern Papers 3 Historical context notes are intended to give basic and preliminary information on a topic. In some cases they will be expanded into longer entries as the Literary Encyclopedia evolves.

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