Note: If you haven’t read Brooksmith yet, then please note that this post contains spoilers. *** The first Henry James tale I’ve ever read was. Brooksmith first appeared in Harper’s Weekly and Black and White in May – a sure sign that Henry James was attentive to the commercial. Henry James is one of those authors I’ve heard plenty about but never attempted (although Wings of the Dove is on my TBR). As I’ve done in.

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He had in short accepted the truth which many dabblers in the social art are slow to learn, that you must really, as they say, take a line, and that the only way as yet discovered of being at home is to stay at home.

No trace of him had come to light — no gleam of the white waistcoat had pierced the obscurity of his doom. AutobiographyPrinceton University Press, Offord had solved the insoluble; he had, without feminine help — save in the sense that ladies were dying to come to him and that he saved the lives of bfooksmith — established a salon; but I might have guessed that there was a method in his madness, a law in his success.

He realises it will henryy almost impossible to locate employment offering such a cultivated milieu. In that case the fundamental difference would have had to be shown by brpoksmith dumbness, and many of them, poor things, were dumb enough without that provision. Wikisource has original text related to this article: I often noticed that if an anecdote or a quotation, much more a lively discussion, was going forward, he would, if busy with the fire or the curtains, the lamp or the tea, find a pretext for remaining in the room till the point should be reached.

It was the world of cheerful commonplace and conscious gentility and prosperous density, a full-fed material insular world, a world of hideous florid plate and ponderous order and thin bt. How was it that we all sat where we wanted and moved when we wanted and met whom we wanted and escaped whom we wanted; joining, according to the accident of inclination, the general circle or falling in with a single talker on a convenient sofa?

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The time now is I dislike his characters and I dislike his outlook and I always end up, as I did at the end of this story, wanting to punch at least one of the characters in the nose. The Henry James Resource Center A web site with biography, bibliographies, adaptations, archival resources, suggested reading, and recent scholarship. Duncan Calvert rated it it was amazing Oct 11, There are some very witty social ironies, and a contest of wills which matches nouveau-riche greed against high principles.

The first is his separation from his beloved employer and master, Mr. Offord used to read passages to him from Montaigne and Saint—Simon, for he read perpetually when alone — when THEY were alone, that is — and Brooksmith was always about. He looked well enough in health, but much older, and wore in an exceptionally marked degree the glazed and expressionless mask of the British domestic de race.

I saw on the spot that though he had plenty of school he carried it without arrogance — he had remained articulate and human. I broooksmith if I would have liked him any better if he had been writing today 1. Offord had in my opinion rendered signal service to his country.

Tuesday Reading Room – Brooksmith by Henry James

This was partially of benefit to Brooksmith himself, who would linger in the room on some pretext or other in order to eavesdrop on the exchanges. A middle-period short story by Henry James about the enthusiasms and decay of an intellectually curious servant.

Brooksmith We uenry scattered now, the friends of the late Mr. The Complete Letters Archive of the grooksmith correspondence work in progress — published by the University of Nebraska Press.

Brina rated it really liked it Jun 23, Preview — Brooksmith by Henry James. My offer could only be to help him to find another place, and yet there was an indelicacy, as it were, in taking for granted that his thoughts would immediately be fixed on another.


Please do leave a comment! Brooksmith was regarded by the narrator as “the artist” who insured that the company at each gathering was the optimum number and mix of personalities to provide the highest level of conversation possible.

A discussion of Henry James’s Brooksmith

Zakhar Dyner rated it really liked it Dec 03, brooksmirh This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. A discussion of Henry James’s Brooksmith Note: This page was last edited on 13 Novemberat This was precisely the way he acted as moderator; he averted misunderstandings or cleared them hrnry. The Critical HeritageLondon: Bantam Classics reissued Jenry exists within the salon, but ever on the outskirts, as a consummate observer hence the narrator’s gloss about the only time he saw Brooksmith approach anger.

Natalia rated it it was amazing Jan 18, I must add that he never showed a symptom of what I may call sordid solicitude — anxiety on his own account. Five days later I heard from him.

Also includes his autobiographies, plays, and literary criticism — with illustrations.

But always in vain; so that as I met many other members of the casual class over and over again I at last adopted the theory that he always procured a list of expected guests beforehand and kept away from the banquets which he thus learned I was to grace. The story is also present in a compilation of 50 Great Short Stories by Milton Crane Plot [ edit ] The narrator tells the story of Brooksmith, a butler he had once known.