The Golden Bowl

Henry James

The Golden Bowl, by Henry James - click to see full size image

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The Golden Bowl is a novel by American author Henry James, first published in 1904. It is a complex and psychologically intricate story that delves into the themes of love, betrayal, and the consequences of deceit. The story revolves around the lives of four main characters: American expatriate Adam Verver, his daughter Maggie, her suitor Prince Amerigo, and Amerigo's former lover Charlotte Stant. Set primarily in Europe, the narrative begins with the marriage of Maggie and Amerigo. The Verver family is wealthy, and they possess a collection of valuable art, symbolized by a golden bowl. However, unbeknownst to Maggie, Amerigo and Charlotte share a secret past relationship. As the story unfolds, the golden bowl serves as a metaphorical representation of their intertwined lives, desires, and hidden truths. The title is taken from Ecclesiastes 12: 'Or ever the silver cord be loosed, or the golden bowl be broken, or the pitcher be broken at the fountain, or the wheel broken at the cistern. Then shall the dust return to the earth as it was: and the spirit shall return unto God who gave it. Vanity of vanities, saith the preacher; all is vanity.'

№ 36 in The Guardian's 100 Best Novels Written In English.

This book has 207,869 words, 330 pages in the PDF version, and was originally published in 1904.

Production notes: This ebook of The Golden Bowl was published by Global Grey on the 17th June 2019, and updated on the 3rd May 2023. The artwork used for the cover is 'Madame X' by John Singer Sargent.

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