Henry James, The Tragic Muse

Mhairi Catriona Pooler (University of Aberdeen)
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The Tragic Muse

is Henry James’s novel about the “artist-life” (

Tragic Muse

, 1). First conceived as a short novel about “the histrionic character” (Perosa, 38) a year after the publication of the two big novels of James’s so-called “middle period” –

The Bostonians

(1886) and

The Princess Casamassima

(1886) –

The Tragic Muse

actually appeared as seventeen instalments in the

Atlantic Monthly

magazine between January 1889 and May 1890. What Dorothea Krook calls “perhaps the most distinguished novel” of this period of James’s career (62) was published at a loss in book form in Britain, by Macmillan, and in America by Houghton, Mifflin Co. in June 1890. Unlike

The Bostonians

, however, James considered

The Tragic Muse

worth revising almost two decades later for volume…

2836 words

Citation: Pooler, Mhairi Catriona. "The Tragic Muse". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 07 March 2011 [https://www.litencyc.com/php/sworks.php?rec=true&UID=7965, accessed 23 June 2024.]

7965 The Tragic Muse 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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