Henry James, The Middle Years

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The Middle Years

, the third volume of Henry James’s autobiographical writings, was unfinished at the time of his death. It was published posthumously in 1917. The first volume,

A Small Boy and Others

, had been published in 1913, followed by the second,

Notes of a Son and Brother

, in 1914. The three volumes, edited by Frederick W. Dupee, were published with the collective title

Henry James: Autobiography

in 1956.

The fifty pages of the incomplete The Middle Years were written as war was brewing in Europe and the opening metaphor is a military one as if James, under the new threat, is recalling the intensities and wastage of the American Civil War: youth is conceived as an “army” reluctantly marching into age, “the enemy’s country, the country of the general lost freshness”

864 words

Citation: Righelato, Pat. "The Middle Years". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 14 July 2007 [https://www.litencyc.com/php/sworks.php?rec=true&UID=162, accessed 12 June 2024.]

162 The Middle Years 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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