A Bundle of Letters by Henry James

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The Project Gutenberg eBook, A Bundle of Letters, by Henry James

This eBook is for the use of anyone anywhere at no cost and with
almost no restrictions whatsoever. You may copy it, give it away or
re-use it under the terms of the Project Gutenberg License included
with this eBook or online at www.gutenberg.net

Title: A Bundle of Letters

Author: Henry James

Release Date: May 8, 2005 [eBook #2425]

Language: English

Character set encoding: ISO-646-US (US-ASCII)


Transcribed from the 1887 Macmillan and Co. edition by David Price, email
ccx074@coventry.ac.uk. Proofing by Andy McLauchan and David Stapleton.

by Henry James



September 5th, 1879.

My dear mother--I have kept you posted as far as Tuesday week last, and,
although my letter will not have reached you yet, I will begin another
before my news accumulates too much. I am glad you show my letters round
in the family, for I like them all to know what I am doing, and I can't
write to every one, though I try to answer all reasonable expectations.
But there are a great many unreasonable ones, as I suppose you know--not
yours, dear mother, for I am bound to say that you never required of me
more than was natural. You see you are reaping your reward: I write to
you before I write to any one else.

There is one thing, I hope--that you don't show any of my letters to
William Platt. If he wants to see any of my letters, he knows the right
way to go to work. I wouldn't have him see one of these letters, written
for circulation in the family, for anything in the world. If he wants
one for himself, he has got to write to me first. Let him write to me
first, and then I will see about answering him. You can show him this if
you like; but if you show him anything more, I will never write to you

I told you in my last about my farewell to England, my crossing the
Channel, and my first impressions of Paris. I have thought a great deal
about that lovely England since I left it, and all the famous historic
scenes I visited; but I have come to the conclusion that it is not a
country in which I should care to reside. The position of woman does not
seem to me at all satisfactory, and that is a point, you know, on which I
feel very strongly. It seems to me that in England they play a very
faded-out part, and those with whom I conversed had a kind of depressed
and humiliated tone; a little dull, tame look, as if they were used to
being snubbed and bullied, which made me want to give them a good
shaking. There are a great many people--and a great many things,
too--over here that I should like to perform that operation upon. I
should like to shake the starch out of some of them, and the dust out of
the others. I know fifty girls in Bangor that come much more up to my
notion of the stand a truly noble woman should take, than those young
ladies in England. But they had a most lovely way of speaking (in
England), and the men are _remarkably handsome_. (You can show this to
William Platt, if you like.)

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Books | Photos | Paul Mutton | Mon 18th Jan 2021, 13:50