By Henry James
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Eugenia, a baroness divorced from a German prince, and her bohemian brother, Felix, are coming back to America. They were raised and cultured in Europe but are now destitute and returning to New England to seek out their rich and innocent cousins. Eugenia seems to be a good sister to Felix, but she may only be using him as a conveniently adoring brother which allows her the possibility of engaging the attention of marriageable men. She wins the attraction of Robert Acton the most appropriate suitor in the area while also seducing her younger cousin Clifford. She fails to understand why her foreign gentility and audacity cannot be accounted for by the strict puritanical customs of these men of the New World. On the other hand, Felix's luxurious romantic ways catch the scrutiny and acceptance of American women in this circle of new acquaintances. Therefore while Felix becomes familiar with the changing imperatives of the present circumstance Eugenia is not persuaded by the different surroundings to accept the alternate social guidelines adopted by American men. Approval and disfavor swing in the private balance and determine the appreciation necessary to adapt to the new circumstance. Henry James outlines all the requirements needed in the modern atmosphere to meet the newly revised conventions of social morality. Please Note: This book is easy to read in true text, not scanned images that can sometimes be difficult to decipher. The Microsoft eBook has a contents page linked to the chapter headings for easy navigation. The Adobe eBook has bookmarks at chapter headings and is printable up to two full copies per year. Both versions are text searchable.