The Turn of the Screw Introduction "Henry James" and "spooky ghosts" might not, at first glance, seem like a match made in heaven.
Works cited and abbreviations used I. In a comment on our author's efforts in this field, the biographer Leon Edel, writing in his book entitled Henry James, says James believed ". It is with this natural guardedness in mind that one is inclined to view with some scepticism James's apparent willingness to disclose the inspirational source of The Turn of the Screw.
The author would have us believe that the basic elements of the plot had been adapted from a ghost story related to him by Archbishop of Canterbury, Edward White Benson, who had entertained him on the evening of January 10, Acknowledgement of the strange tale and its source first appears in the form of a notebook entry supposedly written just two days later The Notebooks of Henry James were first published inand the entry in question was reproduced on pages — of the Norton Critical Edition of The Turn of the Screw, henceforth referred to as TSNC.
If the date is genuine, the memorandum provides some three whole years in advance a fairly reasonable outline of the queer testimony James expected us to believe. As soon as serialization of the story had begun in the spring ofJames wrote to his friend and fellow writer Arthur Benson see TSNC pp.
As I have already indicated, this is hardly the case at all, but it does serve to illustrate how the author was prepared to exaggerate. Further doubt about his true intentions is aroused by the fact that, in letters to certain other literary friends, he seemingly went out of his way to belittle the story's value.
That James should wish to attribute such a horrifying tale to the Primate of all England is unquestionably somewhat bizarre, and it is to be lamented that Archbishop Benson himself never had the chance to verify James's assertion, for not a single member of his family, otherwise well versed in the old boy's repertoire, had any recollection of his ever having related anything of the kind Wolff, TSNC pp.
The possibility that James purposely selected this conveniently unverifiable source, and that the notebook entry was used as a piece of "invulnerable granite" to protect the nucleus of his story cannot be altogether ruled out.
- Turn of the Screw by: Henry James After reading 'The Turn of the Screw';, by Henry James, I was left with many unanswered questions. The two main questions are, are the ghosts in the story real, or are they just figments of the narrator's imagination. After reading “The Turn of the Screw” by Henry James it inspired me to have my essay written on the gothic elements. The purpose of this essay is to discuss and evaluate the gothic elements in “The Turn of the Screw” and emotive space of this work of literature. Henry James, OM (() 15 April – () 28 February ) was an American-British author regarded as a key transitional figure between literary realism and literary modernism, and is considered by many to be among the greatest novelists in the English rutadeltambor.com was the son of Henry James Sr. and the brother of renowned philosopher and psychologist William James and diarist Alice James.
I think we may safely assume that, given his considerable status and wide circle of celebrated literary friends, he calculated that at least part of his vast production of private notes and letters would one day end up in the hands of his critics.
Indeed, this very theme of prying critics and the invasion of privacy in the modern age had already been explored by the author in The Aspern Papers, published in As Edel points out, "between the lines of The Aspern Papers James is saying that an artist's life should be preserved from prying hands, that he should be read in his work alone" EDEL p.
Bearing in mind that he had been through a rather disappointing decade prior to the publication of The Turn of the Screw, one of continual self-renewal and enforced experimentation, James would in all likelihood have had good reason to try and outwit his harshest critics at this particular point in time.
If we do in fact decide that the role of the archbishop in the evolution of this story has been exaggerated, a number of possible alternative inspirational sources are worthy of our consideration.
Let us begin with the setting, an old house. It so happens that in Septemberjust as he was embarking upon his story, the author decided to withdraw from London and take on the twenty-one year lease of an old Georgian mansion called Lamb House in the idyllic little Sussex town of Rye.
As Tony Tanner notes in his book Henry James: II, this must have been quite a challenge to him, perhaps even disturbing, for he had never before lived in a house of his own TANN p.
It is understandable that he should wish to put the governess, the main character in his new story, in rather similar circumstances. Quite apart from their moving into old houses, however, James and his governess were further united in the sense that both were victims of an indifferent world; James yearned for the recognition of his readership and theatre audiences EDEL p.
Wolff suggests that another impulse for the setting of the story could have come from a drawing entitled "The Haunted House" by T. From one window of the house there shines a ghostly light, which is reflected in the water; the children are standing under a great tree, and the shrubbery around the lake is very thick" TSNC p.
The picture was included in the Christmas issue of a London weekly called Black and White. Since this particular issue of the magazine also contains a first publication of Henry James's story Sir Edmund Orme, Wolff concludes that the author could not have failed to see the illustration.
As further evidence in support of his theory, Wolff then proceeds to quote from James's letter to F. Myers cited at the beginning of this essay in which The Turn of the Screw is referred to as ". Moving away from the setting of the story, several noteworthy theories have also been expounded on where James could have gained the idea for the plot without the help of the archbishop.
Edel mentions the fact that "his father spoke of him as a 'devourer of libraries'. The idea that The Turn of the Screw might have been adapted from an already existing work of literature is subscribed to by Miriam Allot in an essay from In Mrs Gaskell's story, the "old nurse" Hester tries to protect the little orphan-girl Rosamund from evil spirits in a haunted old house in Cumberland.
There is the ghostly window scene which James in his turn was to adopt for Quint's second appearance, and in the final showdown Hester has to struggle with the demon to save little Rosamund, just as James forty-five years later appears to make his governess fight for Miles.
Allot also observes that "Rosamund calls Hester 'wicked' for detaining her, as Miles calls his governess 'you devil' for her power over him and Quint" TSNC pp. Perhaps James was not so much interested in being entirely original as in finding a suitable dressing for a subtle psychological study.
If this was the case, then there is little doubt that he received ample food for thought from publications of the Society for Psychical Research, of which F. Myers had been one of the founders and his own brother, William, was president from until This aspect has been explored by Francis X.
The James brothers' interest in these matters might well have been stimulated by the fact that their sister Alice had had a long history of mental illness. In his long essay "The Turn of the Screw and Alice James" published inOscar Cargill develops the hypothesis that Henry James was actually trying to convey something of this personal tragedy in the safe obscurity of a ghost story TSNC pp.
Whatever the true "embryo" of The Turn of the Screw, and however long time had elapsed since its conception, James was apparently too ill at the "birth" of his story to put his own words down on paper. According to William Lyon Phelps, referring to a conversation he had had with the author in an essay entitled "Henry James" fromthe author enlisted the services of a Scottish stenographer, not only to take down the story but also to provide him with some sample reader-reaction.
On this latter score it seems as if James was disappointed: I dictated to him sentences that I thought would make him leap from his chair; he short-handed them as though they had been geometry and whenever I paused to see him collapse, he would enquire in a dry voice, 'What next?The Turn of the Screw Henry James.
American novelist, short story writer, essayist, critic, biographer, autobiographer, and playwright. The following entry presents criticism on James's novella. The Turn of the Screw is an horror novella by Henry James that first appeared in serial format in Collier's Weekly magazine (January 27 – April 16, ).
In October it appeared in The Two Magics, a book published by Macmillan in New York City and Heinemann in rutadeltambor.com: Horror, gothic fiction, ghost story.
The Turn of the Screw Henry James. American novelist, short story writer, essayist, critic, biographer, autobiographer, and playwright. The following entry presents criticism on James's novella. Henry James, OM (() 15 April – () 28 February ) was an American-British author regarded as a key transitional figure between literary realism and literary modernism, and is considered by many to be among the greatest novelists in the English rutadeltambor.com was the son of Henry James Sr.
and the brother of renowned philosopher and psychologist William James and diarist Alice James. A Casebook on Henry James’s “The Turn of the Screw.” the governess's role in "The Turn of the Screw" to try to label her as either hero or villain. of critics argue that this book is.
Henry James, OM, son of theologian Henry James Sr., brother of the philosopher and psychologist William James and diarist Alice James, was an American-born author, one of the founders and leaders of a school of realism in fiction/5.