Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
The War on WordsSlavery, Race, and Free Speech in American Literature$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Michael T. Gilmore

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780226294131

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: February 2013

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226294155.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM CHICAGO SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.chicago.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of Chicago Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in CHSO for personal use.date: 28 September 2021

James and the Monotone of Reunion

James and the Monotone of Reunion

(p.214) James and the Monotone of Reunion
The War on Words

Michael T. Gilmore

University of Chicago Press

This chapter reviews the literary work, The Bostonians, written by Henry James, which is considered one of the most astute high culture meditation available on the intellectual and literary costs of national reconciliation. The book contains a degree of historical insight about the aftermath of Reconstruction unmatched by historians until the revisionism of the 1960s and 1970s. The Bostonians is almost an allegory—of reunion, of the suppression of language by a triumphant South, and of the migration of cultural hegemony from the Boston-Cambridge-Concord area to New York City. James is a realist, and his story is a satire. Its targets include Boston reformers, the popular press, and the emergent world of celebrity. Though James cannot be described as a political writer, he had, like any literary figure, a strong interest in imaginative freedom; and The Bostonians, with its harsh portrait of the sectional takeover of speech, has something to tell us about his trajectory as an author.

Keywords:   Henry James, The Bostonians, reconciliation, Reconstruction, reunion, Boston reformers

Chicago Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs, and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us.