Chapter

Haunted houses and history: Henry James’s Anglo-American ghosts

Andrew Smith

in The Ghost Story, 1840–1920

Published by Manchester University Press

Published in print August 2010 | ISBN: 9780719074462
Published online July 2012 | e-ISBN: 9781781700006 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7228/manchester/9780719074462.003.0007
Haunted houses and history: Henry James’s Anglo-American ghosts

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This chapter investigates how representations of spectrality reformulate a model of national identity in Henry James. It shows that readings of haunted houses and hotels in several of James's works reveal how the historicity of the spectral expresses a nationally liminal Anglo-American identity politics. It also notes that a persistent theme of money and spectrality exists, which is familiar from Dickens, Riddell and Collins, and relates to conceptions of economic and national power and powerlessness.

Keywords: representations; spectrality; national identity; Henry James; haunted houses; historicity; Anglo-American identity; money; power; powerlessness

Chapter.  12371 words. 

Subjects: Literary Studies (19th Century)

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