Tells the story of Basil Ransom, a bemused and handsome lawyer from the American South who battles with the earnest feminists of Boston for the soul of the beautiful Verena Tarrant, whom he hopes to marry - and whom they hope to recruit to their cause.
One of the least known of James' novels - and yet the only one that is uniformly American, Boston rejected it as a satire unflattering to their ego; in those days apparently Boston banning could break - not make - a book. Perhaps the American literary taste of the period could not relish the astringent quality of the book, the irony and the criticism of the American way of life. Today it reads as one of his most modern books, well worth this re-introduction, in a year when James appears to be again coming into his own. (Kirkus Reviews)