The Bostonians by Henry James

  • October 8, 2013 · 7:30 PM
  • Meeting Room / Library off the lobby

Basil Ransom, an attractive young Mississippi lawyer, is on a visit to his cousin Olive, a wealthy feminist, in Boston when he accompanies her to a meeting on the subject of women’s emancipation. One of the speakers is Verena Tarrant, and although he disapproves of all she claims to stand for, Basil is immediately captivated by her and sets about ‘reforming’ her with his traditional views. But Olive has already made Verena her protégée, and soon a battle is under way for exclusive possession of her heart and mind. The Bostonians is one of James’s most provocative and astute portrayals of a world caught between old values and the lure of progress.

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  • Nerio O. B.

    I read some chapters of The Bostonians, and I enjoyed the novel for some part. I like the way James uses the Victorian language. It is very quaint. It is my guess that one of the main or secondary characters is Olive Chancellor, a woman. Is she interested in the Verena Terrant character? That would make her a lesbian character??
    Basil Ransom has a very negatively sophisticated personality, but he is humorous in wanting to be interested in the Mrs. Farringer lecture.
    The point that the lecture was for Mrs. Farringer to speak and she didn't want to was funny.

    October 14, 2013

  • Jim H.

    James will never be my cup of tea for true, but it's nice to visit Jame' insular world and enjoy his meticulous craftsmanship and his remarkable insight on people. I do enjoy his short stories and novellas

    October 9, 2013

    • Wendy S.

      Mine, neither, but he is a masterful writer, and he vividly creates a world and its inhabitants that I can get to know, however briefly. However - his choice of arcane words was off-putting to me.

      October 9, 2013

  • marianne

    True. James is a master of using the English language, and of painting characters. Ever more so, of revealing their inner nature. The genius is so distinct. It is a pleasure to watch it unfold. Glad we got to do this as a group.

    October 9, 2013

  • Wendy S.

    The meeting was so interesting, as usual, and helped me to understand the novel and its characters through others' eyes (and brains.) And many thanks to our gracious hostess, Myra who hosted the meeting.

    Jim is such a great leader. And the other participants offered such valuable insights and observations. Three cheers to all! Wendy

    2 · October 9, 2013

  • susan

    What a nice group...lots of really smart people and great comments. So glad to be there.

    1 · October 9, 2013

  • Julia B.

    I WILL be there tonight and second the idea of reading Toibin's "The Master." I've read it - wonderful.

    October 8, 2013

  • Jean

    Very sorry to miss tonight's meeting... A related book suggestion for future reading/discussion: "The Master", Colm Toibin's novel about Henry James.

    October 8, 2013

  • Suzanne

    I'm not able to be there tomorrow. One name off the wait list! Enjoy

    October 7, 2013

    • Jim H.

      Sorry to miss you. Hope to see you next time

      October 7, 2013

  • Nerio O. B.

    Will do, James.

    October 5, 2013

  • Nerio O. B.

    I have the novel. I thought that I have more time to read it, because the meetup date is Nov. 5th. But it is next week and I have to work nights at my job place.
    I'll read what I can and type in my thoughts beforehand.

    October 2, 2013

    • Jim H.

      Nerio - I'd be grateful if you held off on making a comment on the book until after the meetup on Tuesday

      October 3, 2013

  • deenap

    I got in too late to start the book. now I know there is a chance and to read the book anyway

    October 2, 2013

  • Ann G.

    Re: The Bostonians, the language made it hard to read too much at a stretch, but call me crazy, I found it a cliff-hanger!

    1 · September 29, 2013

    • Bobby

      As a courtesy, Union Square members agree NOT to make written comments about a book prior to discussion. Not everyone has read the book (meeting is not for 8 days), and many may not wish to know the nature of the book OR ITS ENDING. Please refrain from such future comments.

      September 30, 2013

  • Laura S.

    I've tried and tried to read this book and can't get into it, so it's best I give my spot to someone on the waiting list,

    September 12, 2013

  • Mary V.

    Oh, okay. It's The Bostonians in October followed by Shosha in November. I better get reading!

    September 2, 2013

  • Jim H.

    Guys I saw we were going to have three books set in the Holocaust right in a row so I swapped the "Shosha" and the Henry James. Hope that is all right with everyone. See you on the 10th

    September 1, 2013

    • marianne

      HI James: So if I got in for Bostonians but was waitlisted for SHosha, does that put me in the group now for October 1?

      September 2, 2013

  • Judith M.

    Not the book I signed up for. Right now James is not on my priority reading list.

    September 2, 2013

  • susan

    It's a 600 page book, so this may be difficult to finish for many people by October 1.

    September 2, 2013

  • Julia B.

    I see there are 19 people on the waiting list for Oct. 1, plenty for a reading group if all should attend. Two meetups for each book would give readers more opportunities and scheduling flexibility. On the downside it would mean more work for the organizer. And might there be a problem of "I wanted to be in the same group as so-and-so" for long-time members?

    August 10, 2013

  • Judith

    Is there a possibility of doing 2 meetups for each book...since there are seem toto alwys be alot of people on the waiting list?

    August 10, 2013

  • Julia B.

    I've been trying to schedule a meeting with this group for several months, but always end up on the waiting list. This morning at 6:00a.m. I accepted the invitation that arrived in my mailbox last evening and still ended up on the waiting list. I once got a pass to attend, but it was last minute and I had made another commitment . Also, I hadn't time to read the book. Any advice? I look forward to lively discussions with you all!

    August 9, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Looking forward to meeting everyone!

    August 8, 2013

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