The Vain Appearance: Vision and The Ambassadors

  • Hazel Hutchison


When I was an undergraduate discovering Henry James, my friend Stephen Henderson, who was better-read than I, suggested that as I had enjoyed The American, I should try The Ambassadors next. “There’s this great scene near the end,” he enthused, “when Strether—he’s the American chap in Paris—sees his two friends in a rowing boat and realizes they’ve been having an affair all along.” Then he added rather wistfully, “I don’t think I ought to have told you that.” Indeed not.


Moral Responsibility Religious Experience Aesthetic Experience Spiritual Experience Religious Conversion 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. 1.
    Edwin Sill Fussell, The French Side of Henry James (New York: Columbia University Press, 1990), 192.Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Walter Pater, “The Child in the House,” in Miscellaneous Studies, ed. Charles Shadwick (London: Macmillan, 1895), 181.Google Scholar
  3. 6.
    Oscar Wilde, The Picture of Dorian Gray (Harmondsworth: Penguin, 1985), 21.Google Scholar
  4. 7.
    Charles Anderson, Person, Place and Thing in Henry James’s Novels (Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 1977), 223.Google Scholar
  5. 8.
    Gerard Manley Hopkins, Poems and Prose, ed. W. H. Gardner (Harmondsworth: Penguin, 1853; repr. 1986), 51.Google Scholar
  6. 9.
    Clive Bell, Art (London: Chatto and Windus, 1914), 220.Google Scholar
  7. 10.
    Arthur Symons, “The Decadent Movement in Literature,” Harper’s New Monthly Magazine 87 (1893): 859.Google Scholar
  8. 13.
    Adeline Tintner, Henry James and the Lust of the Eyes (Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University, 1993), 87–94.Google Scholar
  9. Mary F. S. Hervey, Holbein’s Ambassadors; The Picture and the Men: An Historical Study (London: George Bell, 1900).Google Scholar
  10. 14.
    John North, The Ambassadors’ Secret (London: Hambledon and London, 2001).Google Scholar
  11. 16.
    Hazel Hutchison, “Ideal Homes: James, Rossetti and Swedenborg’s House of Life,” Symbiosis 8:1 (2004): 49–62.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Hazel Hutchison 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • Hazel Hutchison

There are no affiliations available

Personalised recommendations