Michael Anesko

in Generous Mistakes

Published in print March 2017 | ISBN: 9780198794882
Published online March 2017 | e-ISBN: 9780191836404 | DOI:

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Despite a copious bibliography of material concerning the textual revisions that Henry James made for the New York Edition of his work (published 1907–9), we still know very little about the mechanics of his practice. Textual collation of a first (or early) and later edition produces a helpful tabulation of substantive changes that the author made; but this same textual apparatus simplifies the true history of the text’s evolution, because it innocently conceals the various stages through which the process occurred: the fuller tally of later emendations that might have been considered, rejected, or triumphantly incorporated. With respect to The Portrait of a Lady, however, some collateral editorial material survives in which Henry James’s rejected thoughts can be recovered. This chapter analyzes a representative sampling of the surviving textual evidence and can help us better appreciate the painstaking nature of James’s work for the New York Edition.

Keywords: collation; emendation; New York Edition; paste-up; revision

Chapter.  6957 words. 

Subjects: Literary Studies (1500 to 1800)

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