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The Cambridge History of English and American Literature in 18 Volumes (1907–21). rn VOLUME XVII. Later National Literature, Part II.

XII. Henry James

§ 14. American Faith and European Culture

This, we say of James, is anything but American, indigenous; this is the Zeitgeist; this is the spirit of England in the “æsthetic nineties” reacting against the spirit of England in the time of Carlyle. But then we think of the “passionate pilgrimage” of Isabel Archer and the others; we think of James’s Middle Years; we think, it may be, of ourselves and eastward prostrations of our own. And we realize that what the romancer has conjured up is a world not strange to our experience. His genius is not the less American for presenting us, before all things, this vision of a bride rushing into the arms of her bridegroom: vision of the mystic marriage (shall we say?) of new-world faith and old-world culture.