Book Club – The Aspern Papers by Henry James

June 8, 2019 @ 10:00 am
Ellie Shafer

The Aspern Papers is a novella by American writer Henry James, originally published in The Atlantic Monthly in 1888, with its first book publication later in the same year. One of James’s best-known and most acclaimed longer tales, The Aspern Papers is based on the letters Percy Bysshe Shelley wrote to Mary Shelley’s stepsister, Claire Clairmont, who saved them until she died. Set in Venice, The Aspern Papers demonstrates James’s ability to generate suspense while never neglecting the development of his characters.

Based on a true incident involving the mistress of Lord Byron, James’s 1888 novella portrays the narrator’s obsession with acquiring the private papers of a dead poet from the man’s lover.


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