Since 2006, the University of Nebraska Press has worked to publish The Complete Letters of Henry James, an acclaimed series that fills a crucial gap in modern literary studies by presenting in a scholarly edition the complete letters of one of the great novelists and letter writers of the English language. Comprising more than ten thousand letters reflecting on a remarkably wide range of topics—from James’s own life and literary projects to broader questions on art, literature, and criticism—these editions will be an indispensable resource for students of James and of American and English literature, culture, and criticism.
Were Mr. James around today, we think he would be delighted to contribute to the UNP blog. Today we’re sharing one of his many letters, written October 9, 1884.
From the Desk of Henry James
The following is an excerpt from The Complete Letters of Henry James (1883-1884) Vol. 2 by Henry James, edited by Michael Anesko and Greg W. Zacharias (April, 2009).
James Russell Lowell
9 October 1884
TLC Harvard University, Pusey Theatre Collection
bMS Thr 467 box 54
3 Bolton St., W.
Oct. 9th (1884).
My dear Minister,
I forgot this afternoon to utter to you one of my principal memoranda, which was that a good friend of mine, with whom I think you have had some correspondence, Edmund Gosse, desires greatly, before he goes to America, which he is presently to do, to deliver some Lowell lectures on Eng. Literature, to supremely qualify himself by coming to see you, and has asked me to be his introducer. I have ventured to assume that you won’t repel his suit, and have even suggested to him next Saturday afternoon (as I am to be away all next week) as a convenient time to bring him. I shall come with him therefore toward six o’clock, unless I hear from you that you shall not be at home. If I hear nothing I shall take for granted that we shall find you, to the great satisfaction of Gosse, who is a very nice fellow indeed and a very agreeable writer.
Ever faithfully yours