Alice in Jamesland: The Story of Alice Howe Gibbens James by Susan E. Gunter

By Susan E. Gunter

Alice in Jamesland, the 1st biography of Alice Howe Gibbens James—wife of the psychologist and thinker William James, and sister-in-law of novelist Henry James—was made attainable by way of the rediscovery of hundreds and hundreds of her letters and papers regarded as destroyed within the Nineteen Sixties. Encompassing ecu trip, Civil battle profiteering, suicide, a stormy courtship, s?ances, psychedelic mushrooms, the demise of a kid, and an everlasting love tale, Alice in Jamesland is a portrait of a nineteenth-century upper-middle-class marriage, instructed frequently via Alice’s personal letters and made all of the extra dynamic due to her position within the James family members.  Susan E. Gunter positions Alice as a lens by which to view the kin, as a perceptive observer aware of wisdom of relationships to which these open air the James kinfolk weren't. She additionally portrays Alice because the cohesive issue that held the Jameses jointly, bridging the distance among brothers William and Henry and appearing because the sturdy heart for a hugely proficient yet eccentric kinfolk. An idealistic, critical younger lady, Alice was once uniquely fitted to subscribe to this extended family, bringing mental soundness and unshakeable own conviction to her union with the Jameses. Her life’s tale offers a desirable view of 1 of America’s most crucial highbrow dynasties and provides new insights into the lives of nineteenth-century girls. (20090611)

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I’m confident that her voice was pure and warm, and I know that she had a very unusual gift of interpretation. . -(, spending most of their fifth and last year abroad in the Italian Florence. This ancient Tuscan, Medici-haunted city was a world comprised of stone: gray flagstone streets, narrow stone sidewalks, buildings made of piles of weathered somber stone that rose up and up, usually three or four stories. 12 The hills above the Arno were covered with silvery gray olive orchards. Old, thick vines clung to stucco walls, and daffodils bloomed everywhere in the spring.

55 Meeting a rioting student might pose a danger for Alice. Despite her growing interest in boys, she continued her studies. The high school’s demanding four-year curriculum included arithmetic, algebra, bookkeeping, geometry, rhetoric, astronomy, French, Latin, English grammar, chemistry, declamation, and composition. ,* approximately forty students attended North Weymouth High School. Some of the young men had already graduated into the school of life; they were away fighting with the Union army.

13 During these uneasy years when he weighed his destiny, William was interested in women. He enjoyed their company and felt at ease with them, and they in turn fostered friendships with him. ”15 Sick and conflicted as he was, he was still charming. He had penetrating blue eyes, a thick, dark moustache, regular features, a firm chin, and almost hollow cheeks. He playfully described himself in the third person to his sister: He wore a handsome soft felt hat, now perhaps a little the worse for wear, but wh[ich].

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