In 'Washington Square' James treats on a subject about which he was passionate - the relationship between parents and their children. Dr Sloper, a wealthy man, is in a difficult position. His son has died aged three years old. His wife also dies within two weeks of giving birth to their surviving daughter Catherine. She is a plain awkward child, yet capable of giving immense affection.
She becomes fascinated by would-be man of the world Morris Townsend, falling in love with him very swiftly.
Is Morris a fortune hunter? Is Catherine capable of making the right decision? Has Dr Sloper the right to control his daughter's destiny? The battle of wills is long and James, one feels, is not sure of the resolution. In Sloper's time and class what could he do? Listeners will find themselves caught on the horns of this moving dilemma.
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