In August of 1898, James sent a copy of

In the Cage

to his friends Minnie and Paul Bourget. It was, he wrote, “a poor little pot-boiling study of nothing at all”. He said that he had only finished it because he found it hard to give up on a story, even when something that he imagined to be a subject turned out “on trial really to be none” (Horne,

A Life in Letters,

306). He was probably being modest, as he often was to friends about his work. However, James’s reaction to the writing of the tale is curiously parallel to the experience of its protagonist, a London telegraph girl whose insight and imagination allow her to glimpse the secret lives of her upper-class customers. Her powers of observation and communication appear to open up possibilities of love and escape from the…

2013 words

Citation: Hutchison, Hazel McNair. "In the Cage". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 11 March 2011 [, accessed 22 June 2024.]

4479 In the Cage 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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