Thursday, May 3, 2012

Daisy Miller - by Henry James

US/UK Kindle Classic
Daisy Miller is an 1878 novella by Henry James.  (Yes, I am following fashion and am on a novella kick these days!) (US Edition)  (UK Edition) 
Here is Daisy through the eyes of a new acquaintance:
Never, indeed, since he had grown old enough to appreciate things, had he encountered a young American girl of so pronounced a type as this. Certainly she was very charming, but how deucedly sociable! Was she simply a pretty girl from New York State? Were they all like that, the pretty girls who had a good deal of gentlemen's society? Or was she also a designing, an audacious, an unscrupulous young person? Winterbourne had lost his instinct in this matter, and his reason could not help him. Miss Daisy Miller looked extremely innocent. Some people had told him that, after all, American girls were exceedingly innocent; and others had told him that, after all, they were not.
It was an innocent time, certainly!
Her nephew was silent for some moments. "You really think, then," he began earnestly, and with a desire for trustworthy information—"you really think that—" But he paused again.
"Think what, sir?" said his aunt.
"That she is the sort of young lady who expects a man, sooner or later, to carry her off?"
"I haven't the least idea what such young ladies expect a man to do. But I really think that you had better not meddle with little American girls that are uncultivated, as you call them. You have lived too long out of the country. You will be sure to make some great mistake. You are too innocent."
"My dear aunt, I am not so innocent," said Winterbourne, smiling and curling his mustache.
"You are guilty too, then!
" Winterbourne continued to curl his mustache meditatively. "You won't let the poor girl know you then?" he asked at last.
"Is it literally true that she is going to the Chateau de Chillon with you?"

"I think that she fully intends it."
"Then, my dear Frederick," said Mrs. Costello, "I must decline the honor of her acquaintance. I am an old woman, but I am not too old, thank Heaven, to be shocked!"
Do aunts like this only exist in literature?

Enjoy the wonderful prose of Henry James with this popular, yet free, classic book. 

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