What Maisie Knew

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A novel by H. James, published 1897.

With insight and humour James takes us into the world of Maisie, the child of divorced parents. Her father, Beale Farrange, marries Maisie's governess, Miss Overmore, while her mother marries a handsome, weak, and younger man, Sir Claude, to whom Maisie becomes devoted. These new marriages collapse, the step‐parents become lovers, and her parents enter into new amorous entanglements. A new governess, Mrs Wix, appears to offer support, but also becomes infatuated with Sir Claude. Maisie is used as a pawn in the power games of the adults who surround her; her perception of their corrupt lives leads her to an odd and disconcerting maturity, yet she is not of their world and retains a fundamental honesty and innocence.

Subjects: Literature.

Reference entries

Henry James (1843—1916) writer