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Home » Authors » Henry James

About Henry James

Henry James was born in New York in 1843 to a family of wealthy intellectuals. Despite an attempt to gain a law degree James discovered early in his life that writing was to be his career. Unlike many other writers of his time, and possibly due to the support of his family he began work as a professional writer at the age of twenty with the publication of his first short story A Tragedy of Error in 1864.

Having left the United States and attempting to live briefly in Paris, James settled in England in the small town of Rye in East Sussex. The theme of the expatriate runs through most of James’ work as does what he perceived to be the conflict between the new and aggressive culture of the United States and that of the ‘older’ Europe.

He was a prolific writer with twenty novels, twelve plays and one hundred and twelve stories completed by the time of his death and two further novels left unfinished.

Henry James audio book downloads:

Washington Square Audiobook

Washington Square Audiobook
Written by Henry James
Read by Jennifer Ehle

Bafta award winning actress Jennifer Ehle reads this wonderful unabridged audiobook of one of Henry James’ funniest and most enjoyable  novels.

The battle between a father and a daughter is usually portrayed in literature as a struggle between a headstrong but feisty girl and a tradition-bound lead weight of a father. Henry James of course had to do it somewhat differently. He tells a story of an intelligent man riding the turn of the tide in mid-nineteenth century New York, and watching what he sees as his numbingly dull and conventional daughter making the mistake of her life in her choice of husband.

The fight between these two delicious characters keeps the suspense carried right up until the last page before you learn  how the contest will end.

Download Washington Square as an audio book today for just £7.95 - available only from

The Aspern Papers Audiobook

The Aspern Papers Audiobook
Written by Henry James
Read by Jeremy Northam

This exclusive audio book, read by the highly acclaimed actor Jeremy Northam is one of the wittiest and most scathing of Henry James’s novellas.

The Aspern Papers chronicles the attempt to extract the valuable letters of the famous and recently deceased poet Jeffrey Aspern from the hands of his past lover and formidable adversary in the battle, Juliana Bordereau. The plot was reputedly suggested to James by a story he heard of an illicit attempt to get hold of several of Lord Byron’s letters.

Set in Venice, James winds the tension of the story around the efforts of the anonymous and amoral hero to inveigle his way into the trust of Bordereau via the arms of her spinster sister. James himself hated any form of intrusion into his privacy and the sense of danger with which he fills the story as the papers get closer to being obtained and published stirs the suspense of the story right up until the last paragraph, when the beautiful twist in the tail is revealed.

The Aspern Papers audiobook read by Jeremy Northam is available for immediate download.

The Real Thing and Other Short Stories Audiobook

The Real Thing and Other Short Stories Audiobook
Written by Henry James
Read by Jeremy Northam

A sense of humour runs blithely through The Real Thing and these other stories with Henry James’ ability to mix tragedy and comedy making for a superb set of tales. With one of James’ favourite themes, illusion and deceit, running though this specially selected collection of unabridged stories, and an exclusive recording by the inimitable Jeremy Northam with a wit that would cut glass, this is a classic audio book available for download immediately in MP3 or iPod audiobook format.

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