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Letter from Henry James to Emma Lazarus

Letter from Henry James to Emma Lazarus

Paris Feb. 5th [1884]
3 Bolton St. Picadilly

Dear Miss Lazarus,

Your friendly appreciation of my article about Turgenieff gives me real pleasure, as it does also so to get such direct news of you. Your other letter never reached me & inquiry at the Army-Navy Club has elicited no traces of it. I am very sorry to have missed such a gratification & I have never

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yet reconciled myself to having arrived in England just at the moment you were sailing- or arranged things so as not to have been able to talk over your impressions with you. But evidently you have given your pledge to reappearance in the stately (or at any rate friendly) limit of England. If I haven't been able to talk with you I have at least talked of you & everyone you saw asked me for news of you & expressed the most attached sentiments. You appear to have done more in three weeks than any lightfooted woman before; when you ate or slept I have not yet made definite- You may imagine indeed how I miss that dear, delightful human all-feeling Turgenieff now. I crossed to this place but three days ago (to spend 2 or 3 weeks) & it has been already made clear to me that for all these years, seeing him was much the most interesting thing Paris held for me- was indeed the only opportunity of much value.

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Letter from Henry James to Emma Lazarus

The place looks dull, empty & colourless, & this aspect accords with my own view of it-- London is the same old London-- whose worst fault is that it has a little too much of all things. It is too humorous, too promiscuous, too stupid (sometimes) & too a great many other things. But I love it well, for all that, & the proof of my affection is that I am homesick at the moment I leave it. I hope you have a fruitful winter. New York looks to me in retrospect like a bright high-pitched heterogeneous Tiffany city- as if some big Tiffany had made it. Excuse my blasphemy & give my love to Mrs. Lockwood. No Tiffany made her.

Very faithfully yours,

H. James

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Date / time
1884

How to cite this page

Jewish Women's Archive. "Letter from Henry James to Emma Lazarus." (Viewed on October 1, 2014) <http://jwa.org/media/letter-from-henry-james-to-emma-lazarus>.

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