A common trope in Henry James’ work is of innocent Americans drawn to and corrupted by European decadence. One of James’ best-known examinations of this theme is found in his 1878 novella Daisy Miller.
In Switzerland, the American title character, a headstrong but naïve girl, meets Frederick Winterbourne, a handsome and sophisticated American who is living abroad. Their potential romance is initially foiled by Winterbourne’s family. Later, when they meet again in Rome, Frederick is shocked by Daisy’s scandalous behavior with a notorious Italian man.
Flo Gibson’s performance of this psychologically astute story is both assertive and ironic.
(P)1981 by Recorded Books, Inc.
"Hearing Daisy Miller, listeners will recognize the tragic difficulties of youth, love, and tradition. Flo Gibson reads splendidly and portrays Daisy with requisite innocence and insolence." (Booklist)
"Highly recommended...." (School Library Journal)
Listen to this story, but be sure to get one of the other versions available from Audible. This one is muffled, as though being spoken through a thick layer of cotton. Even at only two hours in length it is a chore to listen to.
Daisy Miller is a great introduction, or reintroduction, to the writings of Henry James. It is short, relatively non-complex, and characterized by a beautiful style of writing & sweep of narrative. Like many Jamesian novels, at one level it is about the clash between the old world & the new, taking place on the stage of Europe with a caste of American characters. At another it is an intricate psychological love story/play among characters who don't express their feelings to one another in any direct fashion. If you like it, then you can go on to the longer & more complicated James novels. A couple of others are also available on Audible. The quality of the recording ... I am not sure whether it was the narrator herself or, more likely, the fact that the recording was originally in Format 1, isn't the best. Sometimes you have to wind the volume on the device near maximum to hear the highs-&-lows of what is being said. A small complaint, but alittle irritating anyway. That's the only reason I gave it only 4 stars.
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