The mere use of one's eyes, in Venice, is happiness enough, and generous observers find it hard to keep an account of their profits in this line. Everything the eye rests on is effective, pictorial, harmonious - thanks to some inscrutable flattery of the atmosphere&hellipThe light here is, in fact, a mighty magician…
Before creating such classics of American literature as The Portrait of a Lady
and Daisy Miller
, a young Henry James honed his signature style writing essays for The Nation
magazine on travels through the Northeastern United States and Europe. (What a life!) This lovely little book presents these pleasantly rambling and incisively witty reflections on the monuments, landscapes, culture, and people ("These children, by the way, were the handsomest little brats in the world")
he encountered in New England, France, Germany, Italy, England, and Scotland. Settle into your favorite armchair and embark on a leisurely tour with what New Yorker writer Hendrik Hertzberg deems a "thoroughly seasoned, supremely cultivated, and acutely intelligent companion."
You're guaranteed an endlessly entertaining and edifying literary romp filled with delightful surprises. (AG)