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The Ambassadors

Henry James


A middle-aged man named Lambert Strether is sent to Paris by his wealthy wife-to-be in order to convince her son Chad to return home to America and take over the lucrative family business. This turns out to be much easier said than done, as Strether finds Chad much better adapted to European life than anyone expected.

James’ characteristically dense prose is matched by a cast of subtly-realized characters who rarely say exactly what they mean. Widely regarded as one of James’ best novels, The Ambassadors explores themes of love, duty, and aging, all told through the eyes of a man who wonders if life hasn’t passed him by.

This ebook follows the 1909 New York Edition, with one important exception: Since 1950, it has been generally agreed that the New York Edition had incorrectly ordered the first two chapters of Book XI. This text follows the convention of most printings since then, and the chapters have been returned to what is believed to have been James’ intended order.

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A brief history of this ebook

  1. [Editorial] Remove quotes from Book in preface

  2. Tweak long description

  3. Add Modern Library collection metadata

  4. Finish metadata and initial publication

  5. Fix typo

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