Wings Of The Dove (Abr) Audio CD – Abridged, Audiobook
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The Wings of the Dove is a classic example of Henry James's morality tales that play off the naiveté of an American protagonist abroad. In early-20th-century London, Kate Croy and Merton Densher are engaged in a passionate, clandestine love affair. Croy is desperately in love with Densher, who has all the qualities of a potentially excellent husband: he's handsome, witty, and idealistic--the one thing he lacks is money, which ultimately renders him unsuitable as a mate. By chance, Croy befriends a young American heiress, Milly Theale. When Croy discovers that Theale suffers from a mysterious and fatal malady, she hatches a plan that can give all three characters something that they want--at a price. Croy and Densher plan to accompany the young woman to Venice where Densher, according to Croy's design, will seduce the ailing heiress. The two hope that Theale will find love and happiness in her last days and--when she dies--will leave her fortune to Densher, so that he and Croy can live happily ever after. The scheme that at first develops as planned begins to founder when Theale discovers the pair's true motives shortly before her death. Densher struggles with unanticipated feelings of love for his new paramour, and his guilt may obstruct his ability to avail himself of Theale's gift. James deftly navigates the complexities and irony of such moral treachery in this stirring novel. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
“The Wings of the Dove represents the pinnacle of James’s prose.”—Louis Auchincloss --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.See all Product Description
Top Customer Reviews
The motives of the pair are not completely selfish. Milly is dying, it is true, but as long as she enjoys life she does well, and the doctor pronounces that the more joy she can have, the better. Kate is a good friend of Milly's, and knows (or at least thinks) that her last days will be happy with even the artificial love of Densher.
The contrast between American and European society comes in the question of social standing. As Maud puts it, and as everyone understands it, Densher is not 'good enough' for Kate. Milly, though many times more wealthy, has no such scruples, and the common Densher is plenty good for her, even though she's also being pursued by a nobleman named Lord Mark. Milly sees Densher's personality as the core of her fondness for him, and cares nothing for his social standing.Read more ›
Fortunately The Wings of the Dove is a better example of James at work: a plot that is outlined from the very beginning and a consistant approach to his theme that hardly ever bogs down with over-explanation. It is a good book, an at times even brilliant book, with a story that is clearly inevitable but with enough emphasis on its character's individual humanity to allow for disclosure of independant diversions.
I had little interest in this book when I started, my experience with James ruined in the past by the pretention of college professors and a sodden girth of contrary critical study, each promoting a specific agenda more concerned with condemning one view than with promoting another. This book is no doubt open to just as furious a debate as, say, Portrait of a Lady or The Bostonians (although with such a tame story, as with all, that I have considerable doubt that enough of today's readers can be inspired to even care--), but it remains more focused on telling its story than in confusing the reader by expressing the confused frame of its characters' perceptions.
Better than average stuff from that still school of dialectitions who seem somehow so nervous and rigid when relating all those dark urges they know are buried underneath.
James provides opulent settings and rare, ravishing beauty with an almost addictive love angle. Yet, the story is somewhat too narrow for the length of the book. The characters are believable and compelling, but they merely tease the reader into thinking that they are changing creating some confusion and sense of plodding. This book however, is a major moral statement about the nature of love and the fine line of sin that often intersects it.Read more ›
Most recent customer reviews
Some authors (let's say William Faulkner, for example) are able to challenge their readers without alienating them. Read morePublished on March 10 2004 by brewster22
One of the great reads of Western literature is a beautiful love story of deceit and social requirements, containing James' most demanding narration. Travel carefully. Read morePublished on May 28 2003 by JR
Two responses to previous reviews: it was written one hundred years ago, so it would of course be somewhat dated. Read morePublished on May 21 2003 by B. Kuhlman
There is no disputing the artistry of this novel but it is without question extremely difficultt to read. Read morePublished on March 9 2003
I read Wings of the Dove several years ago, then watched the movie. My first, quick impression of "The Dove" was that the long narrative is both tedious and mentally exhausting. Read morePublished on July 20 2002 by Sue M. Nagamoto
James' style is indeed difficult. I found that reading some sections of the novel aloud helped me keep my focus and enhanced my enjoyment of James' language. Read morePublished on May 5 2002 by Lelia Thell
The title is a Jamesian euphemism for 'Pulling The Wings Off Flies'. In a book that is a vortex of ironies, the most fundamental is that a novel written at the highest pitch of... Read morePublished on April 23 2002 by darragh o'donoghue
At an important juncture, our heroine throws a key letter into the fire. We, dear readers, never get to know what it contains. Read morePublished on Jan. 27 2002 by Stacey M Jones
First things first, it is a very nice novel, but very hard to follow. Personally speaking, sometimes I couldn't get very exactly what Henry James was trying to say, but I could... Read morePublished on Nov. 27 2001 by Alysson Oliveira
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