Henry James, The Sense of the Past

Download PDF Add to Bookshelf Report an Error
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



The Wings of the Dove

(1902). James did not return to the project until 1914, after…

2336 words

Citation: Hutchison, Hazel McNair. "The Sense of the Past". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 10 November 2006 [https://www.litencyc.com/php/sworks.php?rec=true&UID=7692, accessed 22 June 2024.]

7692 The Sense of the Past 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.

Save this article

If you need to create a new bookshelf to save this article in, please make sure that you are logged in, then go to your 'Account' here

Leave Feedback

The Literary Encyclopedia is a living community of scholars. We welcome comments which will help us improve.