NAXOS AT 30
30% off all downloads
during May 2017!
The Wings of the Dove (unabridged)

Audio Sample

Henry James

The Wings of the Dove

Read by Juliet Stevenson

unabridged

Milly Theale is a young, beautiful and fabulously wealthy American. When she arrives in London and meets the equally beautiful but impoverished Kate Croy, they form an intimate friendship. But nothing is as it seems: materialism, romance, self-delusion and ultimately fatal illness insidiously contaminate the glamorous social whirl.

  • 20 CDs

    Running Time: 22 h 56 m

    Download PDF booklet

    More product details
    ISBN:978-1-78198-048-4
    Digital ISBN:978-1-78198-049-1
    Cat. no.:NA0267
    CD RRP: $115.98 USD
    Download size:521 MB
    Produced by:John Foley
    Edited by:Andrew Riches
    BISAC:FIC004000
    Released:June 2017
  • Buy Download
    £42 
    £29.40
    Buy Download
    €40 
    €28.00 + VAT
    Buy Download
    $75 
    $52.50 USD
    Buy Download
    £35 
    £24.50 GBP

    See Download Shop – How It Works

    IMPORTANT!

    Downloading on a mobile device?

    Currently, restrictions on the delivery of files to mobile devices mean our download titles must be downloaded to a desktop computer and then transferred to the mobile device.

    Download links are also delivered to you via e-mail: see Download Shop – How It Works for more details.

    30 Years of Naxos
    30% off all Naxos AudioBooks downloads during May 2017!
    Download price shown above includes discount
    Released on CD in June 2017

Due to copyright, this title is not currently available in your region.

You May Also Enjoy
Booklet Notes

Henry James (1843–1916) was born in New York, the son of Henry James senior, a distinguished American philosopher. He was given a liberal education which included prolonged visits to Europe, and when he left Harvard he felt compelled to leave America for Europe, a continent which for him offered a maturity and sophistication which he felt was missing in his homeland and which, in his view, was crucial for nurturing the highest form of literature. He lived in Italy, France and Britain, but in 1876 he settled permanently in  Britain, and in 1915 he became a British citizen.

Henry James’s life spanned a time of vast literary change. He was born into the age of Romanticism when Wordsworth was Poet Laureate, and yet by the time he died he was very much a twentieth-century writer and, stylistically, was anticipating the modernist movement.

The novel deals primarily with the power of self-deception and the insidious nature of materialism

Henry James wrote twenty-one novels, which fall broadly into three phases. The first is characterised by Roderick Hudson (1876). This book deals with themes that were to preoccupy James for the whole of his career: the impact of a sophisticated European ethos on a naïve American, and the insidious nature of evil. It was written as a traditional narrative with a certain picturesqueness of style. The second phase, and in the view of many critics his most accomplished, is best characterised by The Portrait of a Lady (1881). The same themes are in play but stylistically James shows a maturity and complexity of style which combine observable events with inward experience.

For a time James tried his hand as a playwright, but the interior nature of his writing was not suited to the demands of theatre. In 1895 one of his plays, Guy Domville, failed so miserably that he determined to give up playwriting and use what he had learnt to strengthen his novels.

It is to this third phase of writing that The Wings of the Dove (1902) belongs, together with The Ambassadors (1903) and The Golden Bowl (1904). Now James began to experiment with a much more labyrinthine style. He tried to express thoughts which are seldom precise, and to investigate motives which are often ambiguous, even to the protagonists. His sentences became longer, with more and more reservations and qualifications. James often dictated his work and therefore wrote as he spoke, with complex extenuated sentences. Thomas Hardy called them ‘infinite sentences’; this would suggest a baggy superfluity, but in fact James was aiming for a ‘deep-breathing economy’.

In The Wings of the Dove James deals with his traditional themes. The  wealthy, naïve American, Milly, is used and manipulated by Kate Croy and her vacillating lover, Merton Densher. But their duplicity is subtle, not always really understood even by themselves, and the novel deals primarily with the power of self-deception and the insidious nature of materialism. James’s great skill was in withholding frames of reference, whether moral, spatial, temporal or psychological. This can at times make for a challenging read, but the end result is a book of profound insight into the human psyche.

Notes by Heather Godwin


Recently viewed

See more Classic Fiction

NAB Articles