This 1981 book is a reissue of a selection of Henry James' literary criticism by Heinemann Educational Books in 1963. Few artists of any kind have applied to their work the degree of critical intelligence that James devoted to his, and the perfectionist care that he devoted to the practise of his own craft made him a great critic of the art of fiction in general. The essays included in this volume cover the entire span of James' career, from the essay on Whitman (1965) to The New Novel (1914). Of particular interest are the essays dealing with the great fiction writers of the nineteenth century: Dickens, George Eliot, Maupassant, Flaubert, Balzac and Zola. The book also includes by way of a preface F. R. Leavis' essay on James as a critic, in which Leavis analyses what he sees as the strengths of James' work in this field.