By Susan E. Gunter
Alice in Jamesland, the 1st biography of Alice Howe Gibbens James—wife of the psychologist and thinker William James, and sister-in-law of novelist Henry James—was made attainable by way of the rediscovery of hundreds of thousands of her letters and papers considered destroyed within the Nineteen Sixties. Encompassing eu go back and forth, Civil warfare profiteering, suicide, a stormy courtship, s?ances, psychedelic mushrooms, the demise of a kid, and an everlasting love tale, Alice in Jamesland is a portrait of a nineteenth-century upper-middle-class marriage, informed frequently via Alice’s personal letters and made all of the extra dynamic as a result of her position within the James family members. Susan E. Gunter positions Alice as a lens wherein to view the relatives, as a perceptive observer aware of wisdom of relationships to which these open air the James kinfolk weren't. She additionally portrays Alice because the cohesive issue that held the Jameses jointly, bridging the distance among brothers William and Henry and appearing because the good middle for a hugely talented yet eccentric relations. An idealistic, severe younger lady, Alice was once uniquely suited for subscribe to this extended family, bringing mental soundness and unshakeable own conviction to her union with the Jameses. Her life’s tale presents a desirable view of 1 of America’s most vital highbrow dynasties and gives new insights into the lives of nineteenth-century ladies. (20090611)
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Extra resources for Alice in Jamesland: The Story of Alice Howe Gibbens James
The village possessed well-preserved Roman baths. She made friends there and liked the spot tremendously. Soon her youngest sister, Margaret, joined her, the two planning a stay of six months. Mary and Mrs. 9 Finally, Alice quartered her family in Dresden as paying guests in the home of the cosmopolitan Adolph von Nostitz und Jänckendorf. The women toured other cities from there as their funds permitted. -& Germany became involved in the Franco-Prussian War, while the Gibbenses endured expatriation and relative poverty.
Now her mother could afford to give her extra singing and dancing lessons. Both Eliza and Daniel Gibbens were avid readers, so their daughters grew up valuing books. Alice read Chaucer, Milton, Washington Irving, and New England historian William Prescott. Her father sent her John Ruskin’s CeZ[hdFW_dj[hi and encouraged her interest in music. Alice had a penchant for sobriety: she felt that she looked more natural when she assumed a grave expression. But despite her desire to appear a mature adult, she sometimes indulged in adolescent pranks with her sister Mary and her cousin Samuel Webb.
49 “I dearly love to go where I can dance and hear music. ”50 By the time Alice was sixteen she had become interested in specific young men, and they were interested in her. Despite her shyness and sobriety she had beaux. Perhaps that very shyness added to her charm. Her first boyfriend was her Boston cousin Frederick Hammond Gibbens, the son of Dr. Gibbens’s half-brother Samuel Hammond Gibbens. ,+ Fred kissed Alice. 51 It was not long before Alice’s interest in young men and theirs in her began to disturb her mother.