The Golden Bowl Vol. 1 & 2
By Henry James
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The reader witnesses in "The Golden Bowl", one of Henry James greatest novels, the pattern of searing loneliness and unendurable punishment and illicit love interwoven to produce a fabric of treachery. In Italy the protagonist of Book I, Amerigo, is a penniless "Prince" who falls in love with Maggie Verver, a rich American beauty. They marry, and the reader is lead down the path of orchestrated infidelity. The introduction of Adam Verver, Maggie's father and Charlotte Stance, the Prince's lover, allow a researcher the chance to watch the nuances as the adulteries advance and slowly overwhelm the entire drama. Maggie is the antagonist in Book II and stylizes the revelation of occurrences rather than merely chronicling events as they happen. Any eloquence and savage intelligence are clearly distinguished as the Prince hands his lover Charlotte over to Maggie's father while trying to convince everyone that a blatant announcement will publicly relieve the victimization while it only makes subsequent secrets more puzzling. Maggie is caught between the impulse to know everything and to know nothing. But Mr. Verver and Charlotte endure Maggie's moral attractiveness and scruples long enough, and they go back across the ocean to American City where there is an untroubled morality and a milder form of public conscience. In the Golden Bowl there is a structural flaw that imitates the flaw in Maggie's husband. The resolution of this discovery allows a liberation from the gnawing guilt and unending culpability realized toward the end of the novel. 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.