By Susan E. Gunter
Alice in Jamesland, the 1st biography of Alice Howe Gibbens James—wife of the psychologist and thinker William James, and sister-in-law of novelist Henry James—was made attainable by means of the rediscovery of enormous quantities of her letters and papers considered destroyed within the Nineteen Sixties. Encompassing eu shuttle, Civil conflict profiteering, suicide, a stormy courtship, s?ances, psychedelic mushrooms, the demise of a kid, and an everlasting love tale, Alice in Jamesland is a portrait of a nineteenth-century upper-middle-class marriage, instructed frequently via Alice’s personal letters and made the entire extra dynamic as a result of her function within the James family members. Susan E. Gunter positions Alice as a lens wherein to view the family members, as a perceptive observer aware about wisdom of relationships to which these open air the James kin weren't. She additionally portrays Alice because the cohesive issue that held the Jameses jointly, bridging the space among brothers William and Henry and appearing because the good middle for a hugely talented yet eccentric kin. An idealistic, critical younger lady, Alice used to be uniquely suited for sign up for this extended family, bringing mental soundness and unshakeable own conviction to her union with the Jameses. Her life’s tale offers a desirable view of 1 of America’s most crucial highbrow dynasties and gives new insights into the lives of nineteenth-century ladies. (20090611)
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Additional info for Alice in Jamesland: The Story of Alice Howe Gibbens James
At eleven o’clock he sat at a table, writing. When Bailey came in after a visit to Judge Andrews, Gibbens gave him a pencil to keep. Then he unlocked his trunk, peered inside, and remarked that none of them had ever expected to be away from home so long when they packed. ,+, Daniel Lewis Gibbens was discovered in his room lying in a pool of blood, his throat slashed and his razor by his side. The surgeon called in could not save him. He asked for water and mumbled something about disposal of his possessions and about Uncle Joe.
Gazing at women afforded him all the closeness he wanted. Although he looked at them all over Europe, he did little to develop a relationship with any of them. One woman he met abroad, New York musician and teacher Catherine Havens, attracted and held his interest, but they were perhaps too much alike: she also suffered from poor health. , when Alice was in Florence, William met Catherine, a fellow boarder at Madame Spangelberg’s Dresden boardinghouse. 19 On warm nights the two expatriates found themselves in intense discussions on the piazza, sharing intimate details of their respective problems.
For myself I have long since fully determined never to marry with anyone, were she as healthy as the Venus of Milo, for this dorsal trouble [his back pain] is evidently s’thing in the blood. ”7 He had changed his mind. ^[bel[ic["^[bel[ic[dej )) The Jameses were one of America’s most notable nineteenth- and earlytwentieth-century families, and they were financially secure. Henry James Sr. enjoyed a minor reputation as a writer, speaker, and Swedenborgian. His friends and acquaintances included Ralph Waldo Emerson, Margaret Fuller, Annie and James T.
Alice in Jamesland: The Story of Alice Howe Gibbens James by Susan E. Gunter