In The Europeans, Eugenia, Baroness Munster, is about to be repudiated by her husband, a German prince. With her artist brother, she travels to Boston to visit relatives that she has never met in the hope of finding a wealthy new husband. Their uncle, Mr. Wentworth, sets them up in a nearby house, and his children, Gertrude, Charlotte, and Clifford, soon become friends with their newly found cousins. Felix, who is old-world charming, amuses himself by painting flattering portraits of the Bostonians and numerous amorous intrigues develop between the European visitors and their new American friends.More
Dianne Burroughs’ airy, contemporary-sounding performance of Henry James’ The Europeans makes this tale of Old and New Worlds colliding feel fresh.
James’ novel concerns two siblings, Felix and Eugenia, who arrive in Boston from Europe to meet their American relatives. Eugenia, in the middle of an unhappy relationship, flirts with a wealthy Harvard graduate. Meanwhile, Felix, an artist, is drawn to straitlaced Gertrude. Gertrude’s father, however, wants her to marry Mr. Brand, a minister.
Burroughs offers a lively rendition of James’ ornate prose and energetic and modulated takes on the different character’s voices.
"The Europeans presents a quick summation of why Henry James is among the most illustrious and celebrated American authors. His writing in this book surveys the interaction of European society with early, austere, and moralisitc American culture. For historians and sociologists alike, as well as avid fans of lit., James illuminates interactions of the respective characters with poised rhetorical grace, and his sketches are highly readable, understandable, and enjoyable." (The Literature Network)
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