An International Episode

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Novelette by Henry James, published in 1879.

Lord Lambeth and his friend Percy Beaumont come to America for a visit and at Newport they meet Mrs. Westgate and her sister Bessie Alden. The latter fascinates Lord Lambeth, being bold, intelligent, and typically American, and he is on the verge of falling in love with her when he is suddenly recalled to England. Later the situation is reversed, when Bessie and Mrs. Westgate visit London. The older woman discourages her sister from notifying Lord Lambeth of their arrival, but they meet accidentally, and Lambeth, increasingly charmed by Bessie's independence and frankness, is about to propose to her. His mother and sister, alarmed, call on the Americans and make plain their disapproval of the match. Bessie keeps her own counsel, but, when Lambeth proposes, she surprises everyone by refusing him.

Subjects: Literature.

Reference entries

Henry James (1843—1916) writer