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Henry James and the Quest for the Holy Grail: Victorian Medievalism and Modern Criticism





This article offers two case studies. The first examines James’s encounters with medieval buildings in his early travel writings. The second takes as its starting point James’s involvement in The Quest of the Holy Grail, a text which accompanied an 1895 exhibition of paintings by Edwin Austin Abbey. Whilst James’s knowledge of medieval architectural forms seems both confident and coherent, his awareness of medieval literary forms seems more tentative and even sketchy. Reasons for this disparity are considered, but medieval romance motifs are nevertheless found to inform James’s conception of criticism from the outset of his career.

Acceptance Date Jan 10, 2022
Publication Date Jan 28, 2023
Journal The Henry James Review
Print ISSN 0273-0340
Electronic ISSN 1080-6555
Publisher Johns Hopkins University Press
Volume 44
Issue 1
Pages 79-99
Publisher URL