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Washington Square

Narrated by: Adam Sims
Length: 6 hrs and 43 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (25 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Washington Square tells the poignant and gently comic story of Catherine Sloper, a sweet and unassuming young heiress, and her fortune-seeking suitor Morris Townsend. Set in New York City during the 1840s, the story follows Ms. Sloper's conflicts with her concerned father, who attempts to thwart Mr. Townsend, and her busybody aunt, who encourages the attachment. But amid all the duplicity and folly, Ms. Sloper slowly grows towards independence and maturity, and begins to make her own decisions.

Public Domain (P)2016 Naxos AudioBooks

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  • Darwin8u
  • Mesa, AZ, United States
  • 03-31-19

if you are going to be pushed you had better jump

“if you are going to be pushed you had better jump”
― Henry James, Washington Square

In the spirit of Jane Austin or Brontë, Henry James gets his family love drama on. Washinton Square slowly unfolds the story of simple Catherine's romance with Morris Townsend. Set against this ill-fated relationship is simple Catherine's brilliant but cold father who suspects Morris Townsend of mercenary designs on simple Catherine's fortune (from her mother and eventually from him). Working to fascilitate this relationship is simple Catherine's aunt Lavinia, and Dr. Sloper's sister, who is romantic in her view of Morris Townsend, despite her brother's suspicions.

The novel, at its core, suspends simple Catherine between the judgement of her father and the narcissim of Morris Townsend. Trapped, Henry James gives her only one simple way of escape -- growth.

The narrative is straight. The prose is clean. It isn't the greatest James novel I've read so far, but it is still fascinating in its clarity and its power. I didn't like Dr. Sloper, but I respected him. Lavinia irritated me. Simple Catherine grew on my throughout the novel. And, as a father of a daughter, I couldn't view Morris Townsend with anything BUT contempt.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

What??

The ending was so unsatisfying. But the performance of the story was great! Thanks Audible

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Loved the narration

The book was just as engaging as the 1949 movie, though I loved the movie ending better.

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    3 out of 5 stars

Not a Henry Hames fan

On all technical aspects, this book was excellent; however, the story simply did not appeal to me, James created a long narrative for a very simple plot. I usually love Victorian literature, and am used to the long explanations and detailed emotional descriptions of things, but this book was a real slog to get through.

I am sure many others will enjoy it though, and overall it is in good form.