Frequently cited as a homosexual or even an asexual, Henry James nonetheless cultivated two particularly close and tragic friendships with women—James's cousin Minny Temple, who died of tuberculosis at the age of 24, and his fellow writer Constance Fenimore Woolson, who jumped to her death in Venice. This biography by the author of Lives Like Loaded Guns traces the importance of these two women on James, and finds echoes of their strong personalities and unfortunate deaths in many of his most famous literary characters.
"[Lyndall] Gordon is superbly interesting about James as an artist.... The single best book about him."—Colm Tóibín